Effectively meeting and beating the diabetes crisis requires the right access to care for patients, the right clinical expertise, the right community support and more. So while groups worldwide look for ways to prevent, monitor and care for those with diabetes, Mississippi has pushed forward on its own unique path.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has joined with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), North Sunflower Medical Center, GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations and C-Spire Wireless to offer people with diabetes more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of telehealth technology in their homes.
In fact, Governor Bryant unveiled this innovative partnership in his January 2014 State of the State Address, saying that this groundbreaking telehealth pilot program offers a first-of-its-kind, coordinated care approach to diabetes that can help improve disease management and health outcomes for patients for generations to come.
The Diabetes Telehealth Network will begin recruiting patients in the Spring of 2014 in the Mississippi Delta to participate in an 18-month remote care management program; a concept which fuses technology with UMMC specialists to improve patient outcomes and reduce total cost of care in a historically underserved area of the state. By using specialized tablet computers with mobile broadband access and cutting edge telehealth, the program is able to bring the resources and expertise of the state’s only academic medical center, UMMC, to citizens of rural Mississippi, rather than requiring them to travel to UMMC.
“This program can help improve care coordination and strengthen connections between clinicians and patients, and will serve as a proof of concept as we look to expand this model geographically and to other diseases,” said Dr. Kristi Henderson, director of telehealth at UMMC.
The project will recruit up to 200 patients in Sunflower County, Mississippi, who will use Care Innovations technology to share health data, such as weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels, daily with clinicians. The daily information provided by patients gives clinicians a much more complete view of a patient’s health status. With this information, clinicians can easily adjust medical care, as well as schedule phone calls or video chats with patients as necessary. This type of “just-in-time” education can help avoid serious complications as well as develop long-lasting behavioral change. Clinicians also can see a snapshot of all patients under their care to help them better understand which patients need immediate support, making them more efficient and proactive.
“Extending world class care into the home for people in rural Mississippi and beyond who daily deal with the challenges of diabetes and other chronic conditions is a goal that clinicians, policy-makers, industry and patients can all rally behind,” said Marcelo Mosci, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, US and Canada. “We are excited to help launch this innovative program alongside Governor Bryant, and we are confident that efforts like this will be vital in expanding access to quality healthcare for more people.”
• UMMC Telehealth Center – http://www.umc.edu/telehealth/. Those interested in participating in the Diabetes Telehealth Pilot should contact North Sunflower Medical Center’s One Call Referral Line: (662) 756-4000.
• Intel-GE Care Innovations: Learn how diabetes patients manage their condition –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruMqcDY2cvc
• Healthymagination, GE’s $6 Billion initiative to bring better healthcare to more people –http://www.healthymagination.com/