OrthoLive offers orthopedic providers across the U.S. a secure, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine communication platform so they can provide care to patients anywhere. Clients like Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta, Georgia use OrthoLive every day to better serve their patients and their providers. Erika Noll, director of clinical services at Peachtree Orthopedics says, “We’ve been clients of OrthoLive since 2019 and have been very satisfied.”
Let’s look at how an orthopedic telemedicine platform can help doctors improve their service lines by using the OrthoLive telemedicine tool.
What’s Driving the Need for Telemedicine?
Telemedicine has grown in popularity due primarily to consumer demand. Well before the 2020 pandemic forced many practices to adopt telemedicine in support of social distancing, Peachtree Orthopedics had been considering adding the virtual visit to their patient care options.
“We realized that we were getting more requests from patients to do telemedicine,” says Erika.
For more than 65-years, Peachtree Orthopedics has been serving patients in the Atlanta, Georgia area. With eight practice locations, 35 fellowship trained orthopedists, and a support team of administrators and clinicians, Peachtree Orthopedics remains one of the largest independent orthopedic specialty providers in the region, and they knew telemedicine was going to become a larger part of their practice for for the foreseeable future.
Erika points out that, “We are in a large metro area but we see patients regionally.” For a patient suffering from a painful orthopedic injury, it’s common for the doctor to want to see how their care is progressing. This often necessitates a drive to a Peachtree Orthopedics location for a check-up, which could be miles from the patient’s home. The issue is the same for orthopedic surgery patients, who commonly have post-surgical check-ups that are fairly routine in scope.
It was the convenience of seeing a clinician for a routine visit that was so attractive to the practice patients. This is a common benefit for all types of patients, not just in the orthopedic field.
One of the biggest benefits of a telemedicine has always been the cost savings and comfort of having the doctor come to the patient on a video screen, instead of requiring them to jump on a bus or car to travel to an office. Instead of struggling to get to the practice or giving up a half day of their time, the doctor will come to the patient virtually. One study showed that patients can save $50 per visit and an hour of their time on average by seeing a doctor online instead of in-person.
How Does Telemedicine Work in an Orthopedic Practice?
Many types of orthopedic visits can take place in a telemedicine encounter. Because orthopedics is a “hands-on” specialty, the application of a virtual visit to these encounters could stymie some providers who wonder how telemedicine could even work in an orthopedic practice?
Erika reports their experience with OrthoLive is very positive, “For orthopedics, using OrthoLive has been great because we are able to share images with patients via the platform. So, we’re able to share X-ray findings, MRI findings, and even CT images. Patients are also able to take screenshots of those images for their purposes.”
Telemedicine today is being used in orthopedics as a way to keep distance between clinical teams and patients who may carry the COVID-19 virus. Before COVID, orthopedists were using telemedicine for:
- Clinical care coordination with primary and specialty care providers
- Post-surgical rechecks
- Remote care monitoring
- Review of test reviews
- Routine follow-up appointments
- Second opinions
- Surgical discussions
- Triage/urgent care evaluations
- Wound checks
Additionally, telemedicine offers employers an option for on-the-job injuries, many of which are orthopedic in nature. The Peachtree Orthopedics website lists some of the benefits of telemedicine for their orthopedic patients:
- You can be evaluated from anywhere
- There is no parking or travel hassles
- You can maintain social distancing while still receiving medical care
- You can have a one-on-one review with your doctors of diagnostic tests
- Scheduling is fast and easy
Why Did Peachtree Orthopedics Choose OrthoLive?
Telemedicine has become increasingly popular, particularly during COVID. CNBC predicts there will be more than one billion telemedicine visits in 2020 in the U.S. Patients seek out the convenience, efficiency, and lowered costs associated with seeing their doctor online.
While there are many telemedicine applications on the market today, Peachtree Orthopedics chose OrthoLive over commercial telemedicine providers. Erika says, “We went through a process of looking at different vendors. Pricing, features, integration—OrthoLive was the one we chose because we felt like it really best met our needs.”
She noted that OrthoLive is different from other commercial telemedicine providers in one big way, stating, “We recommend OrthoLive primarily because it was started by an orthopedic surgeon, Mike Greiwe, M.D. He’s test-driven the system, he’s made it very friendly for orthopedic surgeons, and so part of that is kind of built into how the platform works.”
Clinical teams are very busy, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the wrong telemedicine technology, introducing a telemedicine service line could prove to be unwieldy, even slowing down clinical workflows at a time when there is literally no time to waste.
“It’s easy for physicians to see who they need to talk to next, who’s ready for them in the waiting room, and the screen sharing functions are very easy,” Erika says.
While the choice is yours, Peachtree Orthopedics believes it’s Dr. Griewe’s clinical expertise that made for a platform as user-friendly to orthopedic specialists as OrthoLive is. That’s not the only part of working with OrthoLive that Erika and her team appreciate. “OrthoLive has been very responsive to feedback from us,” she says. “They really listened and they make changes very quickly for us, which we don’t find with all of our vendors.
If you are an orthopedic provider using a generic video conferencing solution, or if your practice is considering the addition of a telemedicine service line, OrthoLive has a proven track record of helping your practice succeed.
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