A videoconferencing system used in 12 nursing homes across Nebraska eliminates the need to transport nursing home residents to another location or city to receive mental health services.
The Vidyo system, which uses desktop or mobile devices and Internet access, provides live, high-definition and secure video communications, University of Nebraska Medical Center officials said.
UNMC said Thursday that the technology also is being used in a pilot project with primary care and specialty providers in about 40 clinics in Nebraska.
Most psychiatrists in Nebraska practice in Omaha and Lincoln, and about 10 are board certified in geriatric psychiatry, said Dr. Tom Magnuson, associate professor of psychiatry at UNMC.
“Vidyo enables us to see patients in their environment, where they are less likely to be anxious, fatigued or confused,” he said.
Before using the system, Magnuson provided services at a distance only through the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network, which requires that patients be taken to the nearest hospital conference room with a connection. Vidyo saves on staff and transportation costs, officials said.
Nursing homes using Vidyo are in Burwell, Cambridge, Harvard, Lincoln, Loup City, Mullen, Newman Grove, Omaha, St. Edward, Stuart, Verdigre and York.