Rebecca Canino, administrative director of Johns Hopkins Telemedicine, says studies show that 60% of millennials do not have, or necessarily want, a primary care doctor, while 44% prefer to go to retail clinics and are twice as likely as their parents to visit an urgent care center for medical issues.
Telemedicine fits this trend. The technology allows patients to chat with clinicians in real time through computers, smartphones or tablets. Some patients use telemedicine at home, while others participate through community centers, care facilities, schools or emergency departments equipped with telemedicine connections.
Johns Hopkins Telemedicine was founded in 2017 with the goals of improving access to and lowering the costs of care, as well as building sustainable programs and billing practices. It offers more than 60 programs in areas such as neurology, and more than 50 subservices for conditions including Parkinson’s disease and migraine headaches. It also provides chronic care management, remote observation and biometrics, according to Canino.
With access to the vital signs of patients at any hospital in the Johns Hopkins Health System, telemedicine nurses can coordinate care among providers and avoid unnecessary patient transfers. When a transfer is needed, the nurses can make the move happen as quickly as possible, saving the patient money on medical bills.
Telemedicine can also provide peace of mind, Canino says. For example, if a potential problem is spotted on a uterine scan halfway through a woman’s pregnancy, she might have to wait anxiously for a few days before she can receive a more in-depth scan and results. But if the sonogram is performed at an office working with Johns Hopkins Telemedicine, a maternal fetal medicine doctor can immediately order additional advanced scans and discuss the results via video conference minutes later.“We are saving people money, time and anxiety while providing high quality care,” Canino says.