At a Glance
- Specialty care in small towns
- Less travel for patients
- Improved care at a lower cost
From Insource, an Rx for Healthcare Access
Residents of Batavia, a town of about 16,000 located in upstate New York roughly midway between Buffalo and Rochester, are accustomed to driving up to two hours to access top-flight medical care. Specialists are increasingly moving their practices to larger cities, so people who live in towns like Batavia have had no choice to but to sacrifice a full day of work or school to see a specialist or sometimes even a primary care provider. And as millions more Americans flow into the healthcare market because they've secured coverage under the Affordable Care Act, already busy small-town facilities will soon become overwhelmed. "The current systems around the country lack the capacity to deal with that surge of patients," says Mark Celmer, president and CEO of Insource Healthcare Solutions.
Fortunately for residents in Batavia and other communities in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, the distance that once separated them from specialized care is disappearing. Through its network of urgent care facilities, Insource is connecting local patients with remote providers in face-to-face consultations via Polycom video collaboration solutions implemented with help from Veraview, a Polycom partner based in Buffalo. "No matter where the physicians or surgeons are that day, they can be reached," explains Tashia Sperry, a physician assistant at University of Buffalo Neurosurgery. Sperry says telemedicine provides a crucial level of comfort to patients, who receive in-person care from a local physician assistant or nurse practitioner during video consultations. "They get the best possible treatment and they can make a connection with their surgeon or physician."
Innovations like telemedicine are crucial to Insource's cost-effective delivery model, which provides access to care for as little as 10 percent of the cost of traditional providers. Video consults help Insource keep costs low without compromising quality of care – essential for providers working to meet key healthcare reform mandates.
Face-to-Face Care from Anywhere
For doctors, it's the lifelike user experience of high-definition video and audio that makes the difference. "The ability to answer someone’s questions and see in their eyes they understand you – or to see what they might not understand and be able to further clarify – is key," says Dr. Kenneth V. Snyder, endovascular neurosurgeon at University of Buffalo Neurosurgery. "Especially when talking about some of the delicate things we talk about."
The power of telemedicine, says Snyder, is that he can deliver personal, first-rate care from virtually anywhere. "Defying distance for me means it’s irrelevant where two people are positioned on this planet," he says. "I can have a face-to-face conversation, as if we’re at a coffee table or in a patient room together."
Insource's Celmer says the ability to deliver first-rate care without forcing patients to drive for hours to receive it makes an enormous difference to people who live in small towns like Batavia: "We've brought a quality of care to this community which hasn’t been seen in 100 years."