It is no secret that hospitals need infectious disease (ID) specialists. However, not every hospital has the resources to maintain a full-time ID specialist, which results in patient transfers that are not only an inconvenience for the patient but are also a missed opportunity for the hospital.
Additionally, an NPR podcast in 2022 covered the decline in filled infectious disease training programs. The combination of decreased physicians and a continued need for the specialty makes it even harder for hospitals to keep ID personnel on staff.
Thankfully, there is a solution. Telemedicine inpatient programs with infectious disease specialists allow hospitals of all sizes to offer ID care they would otherwise have limited or no access to.
Why Inpatient Telehealth Services Need Infectious Disease Specialists
Inpatient telehealth services benefit from infectious disease specialists. These specialists help the hospital staff and their patients.
Reduced Strain on Local Providers with Tele-ID
One example of the benefit of having ID specialists in your hospital’s arsenal of telemedicine specialists is Great Plains Health and its reduced staff strain, which resulted from introducing an ID telemedicine program.
Great Plains Health had one ID specialist. This physician was the only Infectious Diseases specialist within a 300-mile radius. The low number of ID specialists put this physician at risk of burnout, which could have worsened the situation.
Great Plains Health was aware of the strain limited specialists in the area placed on the physician and had Eagle provided two telehealth ID specialists who have since been able to relieve the burden.
How Patients Benefit from Tele-ID
While the reduced strain on staff has value all on its own, adding Tele-ID also helps the patients. Patients can receive in-network care closer to home when their hospital has telemedicine specialists. These programs reduce wait times and transfers, allowing quicker admittance and treatment, which improves the patient’s overall hospital experience.
Conditions Tele-ID Providers Can Diagnose and Treat
A board-certified ID provider can help diagnose and treat several conditions via telemedicine.
Eagle ID-telehealth physicians can diagnose and treat:
- Staph Infection
- Tick-borne Diseases
- Strep Infection
- Skin and Soft Tissue Infections
- Hepatitis C
- Food-borne Illnesses
- Urinary Tract Infections
These providers can also order diagnostic tests, prescribe medication, and make recommendations for outpatient follow-up. Read more here on Eagle’s Tele-ID services.
Other Eagle Telehealth Specialties and Services to Consider
If you are looking for other telehealth specialists, Eagle offers a variety of programs across 17 different specialties. Eagle Telemedicine also offers services to help healthcare providers cover night shifts, staffing gaps and interpretation, reducing the strain felt by the physician shortage.