Frequently Asked Questions for Referring Physicians

How does telemedicine work?

Our providers use the high-tech offices of the Telemedicine Center at the Brody School of Medicine. Our providers schedule these sound-proof booths for each patient visit just as they would a patient exam room. During the consultation, they are directly connected to equipment in a doctor's office, school or institution. Using video-conferencing technology and broadband communication, physicians can conduct real-time physical examinations.

Each telemedicine booth has a video camera with microphone, electronic stethoscope receiver, monitors for consulting medical records and viewing the patient, as well as a telephone.

Patients are seen at their local doctor's office or school in a room that has telemedicine equipment. Typically this includes a rolling cart with a camera, video otoscope, video dermatoscope and electronic stethoscope. Options include ultrasound machines to transmit video over the network.

How can I offer telemedicine specialty care in my office?

We invite any physician in eastern North Carolina to contact us for more information. After evaluating your needs, we develop and install the telemedicine equipment you will need to offer this service to your patients. To comply with HIPAA regulations, encryption is available.

What are the advantages of telemedicine?

A consultation by telemedicine eliminates the need for patients to travel long distances. It also eases the burden on patients and their families who may be experiencing the hardships of illness or disease, as well as those who lack transportation or may not be able to take extended time off from work. In general, telemedicine consultations simplify doctors visits and may increase compliance. Patients may always opt for an in-person visit if it is necessary.

Does the primary care physician continue to manage patients?

Absolutely. We provide consultations, evaluations and support with specialty care management with the referring physician. Patients continue in the care of their regular doctor.

Is there any additional cost to the patient for using telemedicine?

No. The appointment is billed the same as seeing the specialist in person.

Is there any additional cost or paperwork for the primary care provider?

No. Billing and record-keeping for the visit are handled by the Telemedicine Center and the Brody School of Medicine.

How do I schedule an appointment?

You can schedule appointments for your patients by calling 252-744-3855 or toll-free 800-816-3859.

How did telemedicine begin at ECU?

Telemedicine at East Carolina University began in 1992 with consultations with Central Prison  in Raleigh. Since then, the ECU telemedicine program has continued steady growth and achieved national recognition. In 1999, the University of North Carolina General Administration awarded the program Center status, and it was recognized as one of the Top 10 telemedicine programs by Telehealth Magazine.