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Keyword: telehealth

Guest Post by:

Tina Brown

I’m Tina Brown, the school nurse at Hemingway Elementary School.  I just discovered a way to solve this problem.  It’s called the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance, a collaboration of academic medical centers, community hospitals and local providers delivering care in the school setting.

By connecting the brightest minds from across the state and bringing together innovative resources and scientific breakthroughs, every child can receive access to care – when and where they need it most.  Instead of asking for a day off work and making the long trip to a physician’s office in a neighboring city, parents need only sign the consent forms for telehealth and their child will be seen during school hours. During a telehealth session, the child is at my side as I call in a provider from MUSC Children’s Hospital or the local community for a teleconsult. I can use special instruments - a digital stethoscope, a digital otoscope and an exam cam - to transmit high definition images and audio. The provider sees what I see and hears what I hear. The child’s parent is called and invited to participate in the visit over the phone, and the child’s primary care provider is apprised of the consult. Although rashes and infections are common reasons for teleconsults, the services can also support children with more serious conditions, ensuring that children with asthma, for example, are using their inhalers correctly. 

Watch the video below to see how we use Telehealth in Hemingway.

Learn more about how telehealth is improving health care access for children across South Carolina.  sctelehealth.org/muschealth

 

Guest Post by:

Paul J. Hletko, M.D., FAAP
Georgetown Pediatric Center

 

The Road.  It Can be Your Best Friend, or Your Worst Enemy.

That can depend on where you are and where you need to be.  Now, we’re bridging the distances with a new kind of road with real-time connections thanks to the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance and MUSC Health. This collaboration is connecting the brightest minds across the state to offer South Carolinians access to medical specialists without having to leave the comfort of their hometowns.

As a rural pediatrician in Georgetown, I have become one of the earliest outpatient adopters of the telehealth-based pediatric specialty services offered by MUSC Children’s Hospital.  My practice receives consultative services in sickle cell management, nutrition counseling, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT), the Heart Health Program and telepsychiatry. With these electronic telehealth consults, I’m able to draw on a range of pediatric specialists any day of the week. Telehealth is sort of like my Linus blanket.  It’s so reassuring to have pediatric sub-specialty talent readily available in real time in a rural community.

For example, when a young child throws a tantrum or behaves disruptively, I like to rely on MUSC Children’s Hospital developmental pediatricians to observe the encounter and, through Bluetooth-enabled earpiece, provide the parent real-time, PCIT-informed guidance about how to handle the situation.  Faced with the pediatric obesity crisis, I like that my overweight or obese patients and their parents have access to MUSC Health nutritionists who work side-by-side with endocrinologists, pediatric pharmacists, and bariatric specialists. And I like it when I can call Dr. Julie Kanter, a pediatric hematologist at the MUSC Children’s Hospital, and have her on a teleconsult in real time to help me quickly treat a child in sickle cell crisis.   These are examples of a move forward that will sweep the nation, and it’s nice to see MUSC Health at the vanguard of this movement.

You can learn more about how telehealth is improving health care access by visiting sctelehealth.org/muschealth.  Also, hear more about how my practice, my patients and families are benefiting through telehealth services in this video.

 

The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance is an unprecedented collaboration of academic medical centers, community hospitals and providers, government leaders and other entities that believe all South Carolina residents should and can have access to quality health care, while effectively managing the cost of providing care.

Telehealth promises to improve access to quality care, especially for underserved populations. To fully realize that promise, the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance was formed to encourage a spirit of collaboration among all stakeholders in telehealth, including three of the state’s largest health systems-MUSC Health, Palmetto Health, and Greenville Health-as well as community hospitals, providers, hospital administrators and governmental agencies. This Alliance will be unique in the nation and could not only transform health care delivery in this state

The collaborating service providers of the Alliance will work closely with Palmetto Care Connections, a non-profit telehealth support network, to integrate these innovative approaches to care into South Carolina's communities and existing health systems to ensure a lasting and mutually beneficial future for our state, but also serve as a model for doing so across the country. More information on the value of telehealth, the formation of the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance and ways to bring the best medical care to all of South Carolina is available at sctelehealth.org/muschealth. Please visit the site and view all the public service announcements.

 

 

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