Humboldt Gets Telemedicine Grant
But just exactly what will it do? I can't help but wonder if the money spent will be worth it.
Don't get me wrong. I have a personal interest in seeing that medical information and procedures be expanded using long- distance technology. I don't want anybody to be forced to drive hundreds of miles for consultations. I just wonder if the medical community, or more specifically the medical culture, is set to embrace it.
I have had personal experience with this, as some of you may know, having to have made frequent trips to the UCSF Medical Center over the past couple of years. I believe our very own Jennifer Savage is in the same boat.
I've even recently had the experience- one which dragged out through this last summer- of seeing a little of how doctors up here inter- relate with doctors down there, as opposed to simply driving to UCSF to deal with medical problems.
To make a long story short, the wife was hospitalized numerous times beginning early this summer. There was a great deal of coordination between her local physician, Dr. William Bonis, and the staff at St. Joseph's Hospital. However, coordination between St. Joseph's and UCSF seemed to leave much to be desired, especially at first.
I got the impression much of the problem relied on territorial concerns. Each entity in the equation felt certain limits as to what they could do. I hesitate to comment further in regards what the local and distant doctors did since I wasn't closely involved in their interaction.
Bottom line was, maybe I was expecting too much. I was kind of hoping doctors up here could get information from doctors down there and apply it up here as necessary. But things just went the same way time after time. Finally, the wife was airlifted to UCSF with little to show, it seemed to me, after her return, and then sent down to UCSF, again, a month or so later.
Suffice it to say, the wife made a somewhat miraculous recovery after the second trip to UCSF and she seems to be recovering even more to this day. I would of hoped, though, that we could have been to the point of not having her made yet another trip to UCSF. That would be my dream for everyone up here: That they could have their medical needs- even advanced ones- taken care of up here, with the use of telemedicine.
We certainly don't seem to be to that point yet, and I really wonder if telemedicine could ever play the kind of part we'd like it to play in medicine, especially urgent medical care?