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MASON CITY, Iowa – Advancements in technology are changing the way patients see doctors.
Mercy Palliative Care is partnering with health organizations across north Iowa to allow patients to video chat with their physicians so they don’t have to leave their hometowns.
It’s called Telemedicine and it’s currently available in Kossuth County and Hampton.
But the plans are to expand the service to more rural Iowans.
“We’re working on that actively now in Britt, IA and not only do we have the hospital and family practice clinic that are very interested, I go out to meet with the Emmetsburn hospital tomorrow about establishing that,” says Dr. Robert Weissinger from Mercy Palliative Care.
Initial consultations for new patients are performed face-to-face but follow ups can be completed using Telemedicine.
“Telemedicine has been an established type of way to interview and interact with patients for some time. Psychiatry has been using that and it was really kind of foundation on getting that started based on what their discipline requires,” adds Dr. Weissinger.