Telemedicine Use at Mercy Health Network


Fred Eastman, TeleHealth Technology Manager, provided insights about Mercy’s telehealth initiates to ICN’s SYBAC (Statewide Youth Broadband Advisory Council) students.

Telehealth can include clinical appointments with physicians/nurses/therapists, telephysic, and teleradiology. He described that telemedicine can also include distance education and administrative meetings. Eastman explained that “Telehealth is always using bandwidth” by describing the following real-life scenarios.

Radiology Readings:

A chest x-ray, over original broadband connections, previously took 12-20 minutes to be virtually sent to the recipient. Today, Mercy can send a whole series of MRI sheets and CT scans, let the radiologist know they are coming, radiologist reads the studies, and sends a diagnosis back within that same timeframe range of 12-15 minutes. It is much different than it used to be, because of the faster and lager pipes and better computing capabilities.

Electronic Health Records:

Just about everything now uses electronic health records…

  • Patients log into online portals where they view their medical records
  • Consultations can be performed with a physician in the comfort of a patient’s home
  • People have computers and cell phones everywhere, which makes video conferencing possible

Video Conferencing:

A nurse practitioner sees pediatric mental health patients via a video connection. The video connection provides the specialty of this healthcare service to be accessible to 600-800 patients remotely. Within healthcare, there are many opportunities to use broadband technology.