Lafayette

Dec 31, 2012 5:00 AM by AP/CS

Company clinic brings in doc by video

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A Lafayette jewelry company has a new clinic where employees can see a nurse in person and a doctor by telemedicine.

Workers at Stuller Inc. have made more than 130 visits to the clinic since it opened in May, with common reasons including cold symptoms, migraines, and rashes, human resources director Jennifer East told The Advocate.

She said it's convenient for workers, who would otherwise have to go through security checkpoints like those in airports to leave and return to work. Stuller makes and distributes jewelry and related products, and has 1,200 employees.

"We are a secure environment and this allows people to get care they need without leaving our facility," East said. "Our goal was to provide convenience and ease of use."

Registered nurse Pam Prejean said Dr. Joseph Orgeron of Lafayette can see and hear everything at the same time she does. She uses a Bluetooth-enabled stethoscope and otoscope to let him check patients' lungs and ears.

Orgeron said there are limits to what he can do. For instance, he said, he tells patients with knee or abdominal pain that they need to go to a doctor's office.

The clinic is the first telemedicine venture for Lafayette General Medical Center, which is talking with other interested companies, said vice president Brian Kirk.

FiberCorps, a nonprofit created to capitalize on Lafayette's fiber optics infrastructure, helped develop the clinic.

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