|Jun 01, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
Rural residents, schools, hospitals and physicians, in some instances, do not have the benefit of internet access to fulfill their needs.
How Rural Development Helped:
Through the Rural Utilities Services Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, Missouri Rural Development is able to provide access to rural communities. Recently six entities received funding for projects relating to distance learning and telemedicine.
Citizens Memorial Hospital District, in the southwest Missouri community of Bolivar, will be centralizing the management of medications by creating a tele-pharmacy that allows rural residents to connect to a pharmacist during evening hours from remote locations. They will computerize the management of prescriptions resulting in more timely filling of medication orders.
The University of Missouri is adding 11 new rural health centers and bringing new services to 19 of their current rural sites including radiology, mental health, dermatology and cardiology.
Kennett School District, in extreme southeast Missouri, received funds for a distance learning project that is designed as a results-oriented initiative, using the connectivity that interactive video affords to tackle problems found in many rural communities. With an emphasis on collaborative learning, their distance learning initiative offers community college programs during after school hours.
Correctional Medical Services, Inc., will provide telemedicine for inmates under the Missouri Department of Corrections. The deployment of video conference equipment and health management programming reduces risks that are associated with transportation of inmates for medical and mental health services, and provides for adequate medical treatment of incarcerated persons at the facility rather than off-site.
Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County’s funding will be used at four health care centers and clinics in Lafayette County that are teaming up to establish a telemedicine project to provide comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services. The video teleconferencing and health care management programming will allow each site to contribute to the ‘pool’ of services and medical professionals creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Missouri Sisters of Mercy Health System is extending the reach of their medical services by deploying monitoring devices in patient’s homes with chronic conditions. The off-site equipment will connect to the system’s existing electronic health records.