What is Telemedicine and How is it Changing How We Serve Our Rural Communities

With more than 50 percent of South Dakota’s populations lives in rural communities, South Dakotans are used to traveling in order to meet their unique health needs. Our dermatology team knows this struggle. The Skin Institute at Rapid City Medical Center is directing its attention to this need by providing teledermatology in partnership with rural clinics. Telemedicine leverages technology to communicate and deliver health care services and clinical information for the diagnosis, monitoring and management of health conditions remotely.  It is most commonly used in the outpatient clinic setting where a patient can visit their local clinic, connect to a monitor and communicate with their physician with the assistance of a nurse. The interaction between patient and provider is very similar to a traditional appointment.

Telemedicine provides support and access to patients and the clinicians who serve our rural communities.  It provides convenience and improved accessibility for our patients living in areas out of Rapid City and ultimately allows us to better care for them.  It is another way we can provide exceptional care and convenience for our patients.

We can use telemedicine in the treatment of rashes and acute problems as well as the long term management and follow up care of chronic conditions. There are certain areas of dermatology which prove to be difficult to treat when using teledermatology, and occasionally the patient will still need to be seen in clinic.

We are committed to providing excellent care and improved accessibility to our patients, and look forward to caring for you and your family in our Rapid City or outreach locations or through tele-visits. For more information on how to partner with the Skin Institute for Telemedicine please call (605) 721-3376.

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