Pottsboro Library opening telemedicine program

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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POTTSBORO, Texas (KXII) - Soon, patients will have a private space to see their doctor virtually at the Pottsboro Library.

This week they received a $20,000 grant through the National Institute of Health to kick-start the program.

Pottsboro Library Director Dianne Connery says since COVID-19, doctors are encouraging telemedicine for routine or follow-up appointments.

But in rural areas, she says it will be especially helpful, since people have to travel much farther to get to an appointment.

With this program, they just have to go to the library.

“Since COVID, people were coming here to do that since doctors were not giving the option of coming to the office," Connery said.

But she says now, they’ll have a private space.

“This is planned to be a national model for libraries across the country," Connery said.

For example, a new mom came for her follow-up C-section appointment and one patient virtually visited with his doctor in Israel for specialized treatment.

“In rural areas, a lot of people don’t have Internet access and it’s difficult to get to healthcare providers and especially with COVID," Connery said.

They’re setting up a room inside the library where patients can see their doctors virtually.

Eventually, she hopes to have equipment like scales and blood pressure cuffs.

She says doctors can prescribe medicine and even check your throat through the video call.

“So we are looking to make a soundproof room with great technology and web cam and microphone," Connery said.

The program isn’t for patients with contagious diseases or emergencies.

But she says having this option at the library will make appointments more accessible to people who live in rural areas.

“This helps overcome geography, and the technology issues, we’ll be here to assist people," she said.

She says once cleaning protocol is set and the space is ready, they hope to open the room to patients by January.

“Even when COVID is done with and we’ve moved past that, that telemedicine is here to stay- especially for rural areas, it just makes sense," Connery said.

The Pottsboro Library is also a finalist for a $25,000 grant through State Farm.

If they’re awarded the money, Connery hopes to add AC and improved electrical outlets in the telemedicine room.

You can vote online here until October 2 for the library to get the grant.

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