DALHART, Texas (KFDA) - In efforts to modernize medicine and innovate rural health care, Coon Memorial Hospital has a Telemedicine Program that allows patients to come into their hospital in Dalhart to speak with doctors in Amarillo and Lubbock.
“Telemedicine is a vital tool that we use via television to help our patients connect to specialists in other areas,” said Director of Outpatient Services Sherril Schwartz. “It’s just like a regular doctor visit. It takes about 15 minutes and they do everything in that visit that they would normally do at the clinic.”
They started Telederm at the end of last year in 2018 and Telecardiology started a the beginning of this year.
Schwartz says it has been a great impact on their patients.
“It’s just nice to have this service to provide to patients that aren’t able to or it saves them money, time, gas mileage, everything,” said LVN Marina Tello. “We haven’t had any negative feedback with anybody. It saves time, it saves money and you’re getting the same amount of care, if not better.”
Patients that would normally need to drive to Amarillo or Lubbock to be seen can now see them via a computer thanks to a partnership with Hospitals in The Panhandle.
“Hospitals need to gather together to stay and survive because it is difficult to provide a variety of services independently,” said CEO Loree Tamayo. “So, there is a lot of collaboration, lots of arrangements with each other.”
“We’ve had positive feedback, and we are grateful that the Cardiology Center of Amarillo has partnered with us to be able to provide the services with our community,” said Schwartz.
According to staff at Coon Memorial Hospital, they say the feedback they have received from Telemedicine has been extremely positive, and they are starting to see more people come in for a check up, now that they know they won’t have to drive hours away to see a specialist.