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Conference to explore future health care delivery

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
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 stroke.
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


Friday, Feb. 6, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.