Telecardiology Partnership Drives Results
Cardiology disease affects one in four Americans, yet many don’t have access to specialty care. But that’s changing rapidly thanks to telehealth. Last summer, we partnered with Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) to expand access and improve care at small hospitals across Louisiana and east Texas by leveraging virtual care.
The primary objectives of the partnership are to support rural hospitals that have limited cardiology coverage, help health systems better utilize bed capacity, ease physicians’ call burden, and connect patients with some of the world’s leading subspecialists.
The results to date have been impressive:
- More patients seen locally – Prior to telecardiology, the vast majority of high-risk cardiac patients who presented at rural hospitals had to be transported to larger facilities. But the InTouch/CIS telecardiology alliance has allowed 74% of patients to remain in their local hospitals.
- Improved response time – On average, the telecardiology team sees the patient and makes a recommendation in less than 30 minutes.
- Greater patient satisfaction – The partnership’s patient satisfaction scores are in the 96th percentile of all hospital cardiology programs.
Perhaps the biggest benefit so far is the patients’ peace of mind in small towns like Crowley, Louisiana (population 13,000). If they have a cardio episode, they can be seen quickly by a top specialist without having to drive to Baton Rouge or Houston. That’s more than convenient. It can also be life-saving.