Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Passavant Area Hospital are partnering to bring virtual health care to the residents of Jacksonville and surrounding counties.
Through telehealth services, patients can visit Springfield medical specialists using videoconferencing technology at Passavant Area Hospital instead of traveling to Springfield.
Patients will have access to advanced care in multiple specialties, including neurology, dermatology, infectious disease and endocrinology.
An SIU telehealth virtual visit is the same as a regular face-to-face visit and, in most cases, is covered by insurance, said Dr. Nina Antoniotti, SIU’s executive director of telehealth and clinical outreach. High-definition audio and videoconferencing technology enable specialists to deliver the same level of care as in-person visits.
“This partnership with SIU will allow local residents to stay close to home and use our facility to continue their care,” said Harry Schmidt, president and CEO of Passavant Area Hospital. “Patients will be guided through their telehealth visits by a clinical telepresenter who has been specially trained by SIU to ensure the process goes smoothly and patients are comfortable.”
Some of the advantages of telehealth services include improved access to care, reduced time from referral to appointment, improved patient outcomes and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients.
“This partnership allows us to fulfill the hospital’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve by strengthening convenient access to healthcare services to residents in rural areas,” Schmidt said. “By offering access to care from a variety of specialists in a convenient location, we believe we’ll see a healthier community as a result.”
SIU telehealth technology is currently installed in 12 locations throughout rural Illinois, Antoniotti said. Patients who wish to schedule an SIU telehealth visit should work with their local physicians.
To help educate the public on the benefits of the technology, Passavant and SIU Medicine will host an informational community event on Wednesday, May 10, that will include a mock telehealth appointment. The event runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room 4 at Passavant. Call 217-479-5800 to register.