Connecting patients, providers

Douglas Stutz/Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs
Lt. Cmdr. Josephine Nguyen, Naval Hospital Bremerton Dermatology department head, conducts dermatology care directly to patients in need by using teledermatology, an online support service for beneficiaries who live outside the 60-minute specialty care drive time from the hospital. Patients in Wiesbaden can see a specialist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in a similar way, using their telehealth services.

We live during a time when electronic devices and the internet are an integral part of our lives. We are a connected society using technology to aid us in everything from finding a good restaurant and downloading music to enrolling in higher learning and applying for employment.

The healthcare industry is using technology in exciting ways, specifically in the use of telehealth to facilitate patient appointments. Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic offers a full range of telehealth services for patients.

What is telehealth?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, and public health administration. This means that WAHC can facilitate our patients’ specialty care appointments, from the Wiesbaden Clinic, with a physician who is located at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. WAHC uses synchronous video tele-conferencing and a registered nurse facilitator to connect a patient enrolled at WAHC with a specialty provider located at LRMC for an appointment.

What services are offered?

Over 25 specialty services are offered via telehealth. Some services like nutrition consults can be completed exclusively via telehealth at WAHC. All appointments for the sleep clinic, except the actual sleep study, are completed exclusively via telehealth at WAHC. Some initial surgical consults and most surgical follow-up services can also be provided through telehealth. Gastroenterology, allergy, urology, internal medicine and nearly all specialty care services offer appointments via telehealth.

What are the benefits?

Saving time is one of the biggest positive factors with telehealth. Travel isn’t a problem as the telehealth department is conveniently located in the basement of the WAHC on Clay Kaserne.
Telehealth takes patient privacy seriously; personal health data is protected, and all appointments are facilitated by a trained and qualified nurse.
Numerous studies indicate telehealth is a safe method of delivering health care services, and patient surveys indicate a high level of patient satisfaction.

How to make an appointment

Patients can request a telehealth appointment when calling the appointment line for specialty care or ask providers to schedule their follow-up appointments via telehealth.
Keep in mind, that sometimes it is not possible to use telehealth when the patient’s physical presence is required at LRMC for assessment and evaluation.
For additional questions related to telehealth, please contact Stacey Hodges, BSN, RN, Telehealth Facilitator at WAHC (06371) 9464 1337 or DSN 590-1337.