|Conference to explore future health care delivery
by Megan Fink
In a time where many South Carolina citizens have to choose between
putting food on their family's table or gas in their vehicle,
transportation to an out-of-town specialist may be pushed to the side.
To help make essential and timely medical care more accessible to
anyone across the state, some of the state’s top health organizations
are teaming up to link practitioners to experts.
S.C. Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), MUSC, the South Carolina
Rural Health Research Center and other state organizations are
collaborating to launch a subscriber-based telemedicine program that
will utilize new technology and a high-speed Internet connection to
provide specialty care to rural and underserved clinical offices and
hospitals. The system would enable prompt, live consultation between
emergency medical providers at multiple locations to deliver the best
possible care to patients presenting with deadly conditions, such as a
The consulting system would be similar to the REACH program, which
connects small and mid-sized hospitals with the MUSC Internet-based
consulting system or that of another large medical center for emergency
evaluation and treatment of patients with signs of acute stroke. Once a
patient is rushed to the hospital for stroke symptoms, emergency
experts can collaborate with the MUSC Stroke Center team through the
Web to discuss early treatment options that can improve the chances of
a good outcome.
The Telemedicine for South Carolina conference will be held Feb. 27 in
Columbia to explore the use of telemedicine to provide services that
are most needed in rural and underserved communities.
The conference would also give insight into how other states are
benefiting from this technology and what steps are needed to implement
telemedicine in South Carolina. Featured speakers include Ronald
Weinstein, M.D., the founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine
Program; and Herman Spetzler, executive director of the Open Door
Community Health Centers in California.
The AHEC-led conference is free to the public due to the support
from the Duke Endowment. Space is limited, so registration is required.
For more information or registration, visit http://www.scahec.net/telemed.html.
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009