TelePulmonology, remote care for lung conditions, is one of the fastest growing inpatient specialties. The demand for care is driven by several factors:

  • An aging population
  • A concentration of patients with pulmonary needs in rural communities
  • The number of comorbidities associated with chronic pulmonary conditions

Reviewing the prevalence of a single chronic condition, like asthma, indicates why access to a pulmonary specialist is important to inpatient, emergency and outpatient follow-up care.

Asthma impacts approximately 19 million adult Americans. The American Lung Association reports that the Upper Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon have the the highest percentage of adults with asthma. In addition, more than 10% of adults in Michigan and Alabama also have asthma.

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TelePulmonology

Why is this information relevant to the demand for TelePulmonology?

Many of these same states have a high percentage of rural patients and aging populations. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the age adjusted prevalence of COPD is above 7% in 13 states with predominantly rural populations, including Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The CDR also reports that cigarette use by adults is over 21% in Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia. Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee have smoking rates above 18%. Do you see a pattern? Telemedicine for pulmonology can diagnose and treat patients with a variety of crisis and chronic lung conditions.

To meet the needs of patients in rural communities, Eagle Telemedicine offers TelePulmonology services on-call or by scheduled consult. These services benefit hospitals and patients by:

  • Increasing access to specialists in communities where pulmonologists are often not available or in limited supply – meaning getting a pulmonologist to perform a consult at night in the Emergency Department is rare.
  • Improving care coordination and lowering hospital readmission rates by developing a treatment plan with input from a pulmonologist.
  • Improving hospital revenue by adding services, when required for patient care.
  • Reducing transfers that are inconvenient to patients while boosting the average daily census at the local hospital.
  • Offering more robust outpatient follow-up for patients treated for pulmonary infections and diseases during an inpatient stay.

What’s the value of Telemedicine in the ICU?

Tele-ICU companies, like Eagle, are responding to the physician shortage. The lack of critical care specialists, is straining hospitals across the country. An aging patient population, high-tech devices, and new diseases are compounding these challenges. This is certainly true for cardiovascular and pulmonary patients who require life-saving care, including those with COVID-19.

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