University of Iowa Health Care
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center. Each day more than 12,000 employees, students, and volunteers work together to provide safe, quality health care and excellent service for patients.
With its high rural population, many of Iowa’s residents who most need specialized medical care do not have easy access to the practitioners and premier medical facilities that University of Iowa Health Care can provide. A single appointment with a specialist for diagnosis or to determine a course of treatment could necessitate a 4-5 hour drive. Seeing this need to provide efficient and convenient medical care statewide, University of Iowa Health Care sought a way to reach patients where they live—either at their local physician’s office or at a nearby designated site.
Further, University of Iowa Health Care understood that physicians in rural areas might wish to consult with University of Iowa specialists or observe the Grand Rounds teaching that a university hospital offers. However, running a private medical practice does not always afford the time to travel. As such, University of Iowa Health Care decided to bring their teaching and consultation services directly to physicians’ offices—online—allowing their colleagues to stay on-site and provide timely, cutting edge care to their patients.
In 2015 and with a grant from the USDA, University of Iowa Health Care called upon IDSolutions to implement its telemedicine service. Since then, under the direction of Eric Einwalter, Sr. digital Health Product Manager, University of Iowa Health Care has been able to reach rural and previously underserved parts of the state, providing telemedicine to 55 customized outpatient settings. Patients can now visit their primary care physician or another convenient location to meet online with a University of Iowa Hospital specialist and receive the same quality of care they would during an in-person consultation.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this level of care to those who live far from the hospital,” said Eric. “In the past, patients with physical or geographical mobility issues might not seek timely treatment. Patients are and always have been our priority, and now we have the ability to assist them in a more comfortable setting, while saving them the time and money of travel.”
Physicians located remotely throughout the state of Iowa will also benefit from access to University of Iowa online teaching and Grand Rounds observation, as well full-service technical support for the service, offered by IDSolutions customer care specialists.
Since implementation, University of Iowa Health Care has found the system to be user-friendly and efficient, while allowing physicians to deliver the same quality of care offered by in-person visits. “This method of treatment has been a win-win,” explained Eric. “We’ve also found that online meetings save time for both physician and patient, with similar patient outcomes and mutual satisfaction with treatment. IDSolutions has provided just that—a solution—that we can all be happy with. And since this solution is so cost effective, we’ll be able to increase our patient outreach even further over the next few years.”