If telehealth is the future, Signature HealthCARE of Fentress County is already in the time machine.
In 2015, the provider in Jamestown, TN, won a Silver Award in the
McKnight’s Technology Awards program for its telehealth program, now called YourDoc2U (formerly ReadyMD). CEO and Administrator Stephen Nee said they have quadrupled its use with residents over the past 18 months. One-fifth of patients are using the platform, primarily for psychiatric services.
“What we are able to do is that on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., we schedule appointments, just like a regular doctor’s visit, with the platform in the room,” he explained. A nurse is present with the patient, and the practitioner can write or fax orders after the appointment.
“It’s low-key. It’s definitely more homelike and comfortable,” Nee says. Plus, there is a huge time savings.
“We’re a rural facility and a lot of psych services are 55 miles away, which makes it a three-hour ordeal. We are being good stewards in a way that is better for the patients,” he says.
The program has been “well-received,” with no decline in quality metrics.
“It’s a godsend,” he says. “Without it I don’t see physically or fiscally how we’d be able to do it.”