Shepherd Center Offers New Telehealth Option for its Current Outpatients
Telehealth will provide virtual face-to-face interaction between medical providers and patients.
Shepherd Center began offering telehealth medical and psychology visits this week for its established outpatients in the hospital’s Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute; Dean Stroud Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute; Multi-Specialty Clinic; Complex Concussion Clinic; Shepherd Pathways; and the SHARE Military Initiative.
Telehealth visits will make it possible for medical providers and patients alike to virtually see and hear each other, providing better interaction and enhancing care.
“We believe it is important to facilitate federal guidelines encouraging our patients to stay home during this time of heightened risk,” said Angela Beninga, D.O., chief medical informatics officer. “To continue to provide that special Shepherd Center touch, our team has worked with Atlanta-based telehealth provider ExamMed to allow our patients face-to-face access to their medical providers during the pandemic.”
Using ExamMed’s HIPAA-compliant platform, Shepherd Center’s outpatient medical providers can continue to serve current outpatients while most of the hospital’s outpatient services are closed to minimize exposure to and spread of the virus.
“For months before the pandemic, Shepherd Center had been working to launch telehealth service so we could extend the excellent outpatient care we have been providing in the hospital for decades,” said Chet Bhasin, FACHE, MBA, MS, chief strategy officer for Shepherd Center. “The pandemic, coupled with recent regulatory changes, allowed us to accelerate our launch of the service. Telehealth will provide our patients – many of whom have mobility challenges – with an option to receive care remotely, making it more convenient and accessible.”
This week, Shepherd Center outpatient clinical staff members began calling outpatients who are currently scheduled for telephone visits with their Shepherd providers. Clinical staff members are offering the telehealth option to patients who have an email address and their own computer with a camera and speakers (built-in or external), or a smartphone or tablet computer with a built-in camera. The telehealth system will work on most types of mobile devices. ExamMed also offers a free mobile app – available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android – for telehealth visits via a smartphone or tablet.
If a patient chooses the telehealth option for the visit with their Shepherd Center medical or psychology provider, they will receive an email from ExamMed. It will contain a link the patient will use to launch the telehealth visit on the scheduled date and time. If a patient prefers to keep their telephone visit instead of switching to telehealth, they will be allowed to do so during the pandemic.
This new telehealth program will continue throughout the pandemic. In the future, Shepherd Center plans to expand telehealth to additional programs.
If you have questions, you may call 404-425-7234 and leave a message. We will respond to you as soon as possible.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.