As part of Allina Health TeleHealth, Minneapolis Heart Institute® piloted TeleHeart services in four of their Minnesota outreach sites in 2014 – New Ulm, Olivia, Cambridge and Faribault. The response has been very positive to these virtual general cardiology outpatient visits by patients, Minneapolis Heart Institute® providers and local clinic staff. TeleHeart services are real time, remote, face-to-face health care video interactions to access, diagnose and treat patient’s cardiovascular conditions.
TeleHeart offers patients several advantages over traditional specialty care
- Shorter wait for specialty care- It offers patients faster access to Minneapolis Heart Institute® specialists, reducing the wait time for a specialty appointment.
- Convenience – Patients can receive nationally-recognized cardiovascular care without long distance travel at their community clinic. The patient’s family and support system also benefit from local care delivery instead of traveling to the Twin Cities for the initial consult and first-step diagnostic testing, which typically can be performed at an outpatient center.
- Cost to patient – The costs for TeleHealth visits are similar to traditional office visits and usually covered by medical insurance.
How it works
For a TeleHeart appointment, local nurse practitioners (or Allina Health-employed NP/PAs traveling to rural communities) start the face-to-face patient visits, review patient’s presenting needs, physically examine the patient and then connects our cardiologist with the patient via TeleHealth video equipment.
Patients can ask questions and interact, just as they would in a traditional clinic appointment. Each patient’s medical history and test results are available to the cardiologist in advance of the appointment. The patient documentation appears in electronic health record in a letter format and mailed to the primary care provider. Each appointment is billable as a clinic visit. Technology used in these TeleHeart appointments includes Bedside Ultrasound and a TeleHealth video cart.
For more information about our TeleHeart services, sites and providers, visit allinahealth.org/teleheart.