|Apr 01, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) became aware of the need for telediagnostics in the areas of pulmonology, cardiology, wound care, radiology and orthopedics for the residents of five counties in southwest Missouri. Patients were hindered by the availability of medical personnel, travel expenses, and the expense of in-hospital and outpatient care.
How Rural Development Helped:
CMH received a $500,000 grant through the Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine program. CMH contributed $380,000 toward the total cost of the project.
Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) is able to provide telediagnostics in the areas of pulmonology, cardiology, wound care, radiology and orthopedics to the residents of five counties in southwest Missouri. The services are provided in eight certified rural health clinics, one rural multi-specialty clinic, five long term care facilities and one rural hospital.
Diagnostic study images are transmitted on a telecommunications network for interpretation by remote specialists and storage within the patient's electronic medical record. Services are provided on a wide area telecommunications network that is subsidized by the Universal Services Administrative Corporation (USAC).
The project benefits rural residents by providing diagnostic services previously unavailable. Patients are able to reduce travel time and save both money and gasoline. Patients also benefit by improved quality of care and the ability to collaborate locally with their primary care physician using advance diagnostics. It is expected that one of the long term impacts will be that emergency department visits and hospitalizations will be prevented.
Care delivery is improved when primary care physicians are able to integrate the patient's history and physician examination with interpretation of diagnostics imaging.