hospitals do presentation at national conference
Representatives from St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics made a presentation on their telemedicine program at the recent National Rural Health Association Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. They were selected to participate in a September 29th panel discussion on the use of telemedicine to serve rural populations. A video jointly produced by St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Confera, a Spokane based telehospitalist group, was included in the presentation.
Over 650 rural health care administrative staff and health care providers attended the conference with over 50 attending the telemedicine breakout session. Dr. Michael Meza, Dr. Peter Weitzman, Confera; Pam McBride, CVHC/SMHC Chief Grants Officer and Casey Meza, CEO, discussed the logistics of establishing a connection between urban specialists and rural physicians, the mechanics of funding and reimbursement; the cost savings for patients for travel and their ability to remain close to family and friends with telemedicine consults.
“There were a lot of audience questions following our presentations,” said McBride. “There is truly an interest in learning more about how telemedicine can benefit both patients and providers in rural settings.”
The Cottonwood and Orofino hospitals have access to teleemergency specialists from St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise; to telehospitalists in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene; to adult and child psychiatrists; a Minnesota dermatologist and Spokane cardiologists.
CVHC/SMHC were named the Outstanding Rural Health Organization for 2011 by the National Rural Health Association for their 13 year partnership, their history of innovative solutions to providing rural healthcare and strong community support and involvement. The NRHA is a national nonprofit membership organization with more than 20,000 members.
According to their literature, the NRHA “… provides assistance to achieve a more positive health care environment and maximum health status for the 62 million Americans who are rural residents. They strive to be a proactive and positive force in their efforts towards providing the best rural health care possible.”