BATESVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - How about a doctor's visit and not even leaving the comforts of home? It's becoming a reality now in parts of Arkansas and targeting some of our most vulnerable patients.
"White bread, is that all," a staff member asks a residents at the Wood-Lawn Nursing Home in Batesville.
It's dinner time at the Wood-lawn Nursing Home in Batesville. It's a routine part of the day here. But there's something new around this place: E-visits with the doctor.
"This is a very new procedure for us, we have only used it on a couple of occasions," Dr. Verona Brown said.
We caught up with Doctor Verona Brown, working in an E-visit this week with 87-year-old-Letha Rewis. She's having a routine follow-up and is one of about six residents at Wood-Lawn using this virtual doctor's office so far.
"What do you think of it all? THV's Max Seigle asks.
"I think it's great," Rewis said.
The big draw for Rewis is that she doesn't have to leave home.
"The fact that you can go through that and don't have to drive to the doctor and the information they have, they can help you," Rewis said.
"As soon as I saw it, I knew we had to have it in the facility," Nursing Director Norah Waller said.
Waller said she saw this set-up at a healthcare conference back in the spring. You can talk to the doctors, show them real-time pictures of your body, and through a nurse administering a stethoscope, they can hear things inside.
"I'm going to listen to your heart OK? Waller says to Rewis.
One of the biggest advantages of a program like this is that it's all software-based. So all that's required for a doctor, or even a family member who wants to join the call, is downloading that software to their computers and getting right to the patient.
"You can get a follow-up done faster and keep the quality of care and that's what we brought this in for," Waller said.
It's a new way doing things here with that old dinner routine, just down the hall.
Waller says these e-visits are tied to the national healthcare reform with the goal of cutting down on hospital re-admissions.
The nursing home also plans to add additional medical tools in the near future that would allow doctors to see ear-nose-and-throat areas on patients.
Waller also says that Wood-lawn is only one of two long-term nursing care homes in the state with this program in place. We're told the other one is in Paragould.