Saving Patients Time, Money and Miles through Altru’s Telemedicine

Kaitlin SiskKaitlin Sisk lives in Mohall, N.D., about four hours from Grand Forks, and still sees Dr. Eric Johnson regularly for her diabetes care.

“I started seeing him when I moved to Grand Forks for college,” explains Kaitlin. “I now only travel to Rugby, which is not quite two hours away, to meet with Dr. Johnson over telemedicine.”

Kaitlin was diagnosed with type one diabetes at 12 years old. “My blood sugar was over 600, and when I got to the ER, I was going in and out of consciousness.”

Now on an insulin pump, Kaitlin is a busy, young mom. Using Dr. Johnson’s telemedicine services, she was able to successfully manage her diabetes throughout pregnancy.

“During my pregnancy, I met with Dr. Johnson once a month. Telemedicine saved me a ton of miles and time and money—not to mention, uncomfortable hours in the car! Now, I ‘meet’ with him every three months.”

Kaitlin continues, “Dr. Johnson and my diabetes educator, Lisa Thorp, are always easy to get ahold of, and that makes managing changes much less stressful. I’m happy to say that I had a pregnancy with no complications and a healthy baby boy.”

Connecting with Other Specialists
Like Kaitlin, Tami and Chris VanCamp of Drayton, N.D., have been using telemedicine for several years. They started using telemedicine when their daughter, Alyson (age 11), started seeing Dr. Kondal Madaram for her ADHD.

“This has helped our family tremendously,” explains Tami. “We can schedule appointments around work and school schedules, simply using Altru Clinic in Drayton.”

Recently, Alyson was diagnosed with epilepsy. The VanCamps began doctoring with Gillette Children’s in St. Paul, and they were able to use Altru’s telemedicine services to connect with more specialists.

“It was a great, reliable option. It saved us several days of lost time at school and work. We hope we can do it again for future evaluations.”

Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine uses technology to present live, interactive video and audio between patient and specialist separated by distance. As the Sisks and VanCamps can attest, benefits of telemedicine consults include:

  • improved patient outcome and satisfaction,
  • reduced costs and time away,
  • expanding services and
  • greater access to specialized care, especially in rural areas.

Learn more about the growing telemedicine program at Altru in this infographic.


(Click to enlarge.)

Starting in July of 2016, Altru Health System will offer Altru’s eVisits, a quick and easy way to get care for some of the most common illnesses. By accessing eVisits on Altru’s online patient portal, MyHealth, you can connect with a provider to get a diagnosis, treatment and a prescription, if needed. You can initiate an eVisit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. Altru’s eVisits offer convenient, easy access to healthcare on your schedule.

For more information on telemedicine, call 701.780.2348 or message your provider’s office through MyHealth.

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