2012 Archive

Rural Patient Care goes High-Tech at Clay City Center for Family Medicine

In an effort to meet the diverse needs of the patients that seek care and treatment at the Clay City Center for Family Medicine (CCCFM) with the chronic health conditions of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma, an innovative solution utilizing live, video-interactive telemedicine has been developed. After being evaluated and treated by a medical provider, patients can be scheduled to receive a live, video education session with either a certified respiratory educator or certified diabetes educator located at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, IN. This program allows rural patients with asthma and diabetes to obtain the necessary skills to better manage their condition and overall health without having to travel.

Utilizing a grant from HRSA's Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center partnered with CCCFM and Union Hospital to establish the program. "In today's economy, we must continue to identify ways to help our patients gain access to specialty care close to home," said Brooke Lockhart, CCCFM Practice Manager. "This program is designed to save rural patients both time and money by treating cases locally that would have normally required a trip to Terre Haute."

Employees of CCCFM describe the new program as "user-friendly". Upon patient arrival, staff complete a simple easy-to-use checklist, and enter the patient's history and other key data points into the patient's electronic medical record which is then transmitted to the educator. Key findings and recommendations are then entered into the patient's medical record to formulate a comprehensive plan of care.

Due to the success of the tele-education program, CCCFM is scheduled to add an outpatient cardiology service line using the telemedicine platform this year. Those wishing additional information about this project may contact Brooke Lockhart at 812-238-7479.

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michelle-smith“Telemedicine has allowed our patients to receive the care they need right here in Sullivan, IN. In our current challenging economic times, the more dollars we are able to retain locally the better off our community will be.”

- Michelle Franklin, CEO
Sullivan County
Community Hospital