If you live in rural Montana the healthcare expertise you may need is not always next door. You may need to travel 60 miles or more for serious heath conditions.
Barrett Hospital & HealthCare providers are well aware of the struggle and expense their patients face. So the hospital is working to make life a little easier for people living in some of the incredibly remote parts of southwestern Montana.
The 20-bed Barrett, based in Dillon, Mont., has teamed up with the Partners in Health Telemedicine Network, which uses two-way interactive videoconferencing technologies. The technology gives rural Montana access to specialized medical care in Billings, Utah and Colorado while allowing the patient to remain under the care of their hometown healthcare provider.
With today's easy access to high-speed Internet connections, technology is now available to make these programs possible. The information travels on a secure, dedicated connection to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Mont., where it is relayed to either the University of Utah or Denver's Children's Hospital. The system is set up with a viewing monitor and camera at both ends. The specialist is able to see and talk with the patient in real-time, as well as view the area of interest through a high-resolution video-picture. With proper arrangements, it is possible to use this system to connect with a specialist located anywhere outside of Dillon.
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