2012 Archive

Telehealth Used to Expand Reach of CME Lectures

Union Hospital's Department of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has teamed with the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health (Lugar Center) and the Lugar Center's Telehealth and Innovative Technologies Department to expand on Union Hospital's weekly CME lecture program offered to medical providers.  The CME Department coordinates high quality medical presentations to be shared with providers, including physicians, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, family medicine residents, medical students, and allied health professions students. These weekly presentations, which consist of expert speakers on a variety of important medical topics, are offered as a way to assist providers in furthering their medical education and meeting licensing and credentialing requirements.

Utilizing the Lugar Center's robust telemedicine infrastructure, the CME Department is now able to bring these presentations to a much larger audience of providers and students.  The Lugar Center facilitates the streaming of the weekly CME lectures to a rural clinic and a federally qualified health center  via a live, video-interactive broadcast.  This format enables rural providers to receive state-of-the art training while  avoiding the added costs and time associated with traveling to Union each week. Additionally, the streaming of the lectures has enabled students from the Physician's Assistant program at Indiana State University's College of Nursing, Health and Human Services to take part in the sessions, an option not previously offered because of space restrictions at the Union location.

This project, which began in September, is part of the Telehealth Network Grant Program funding that was received by the Lugar Center in 2010 from the Health Resources Services Administration's (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), grant # H2ARH20178. The Lugar Center is also collaborating with the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) to soon offer recorded CME sessions on a secure and protected network to providers who want to view a CME a session at a later date.

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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