Telehealth bridges gap between rural hospitals and specialists

9 months 1 week 1 day ago Monday, January 08 2018 Jan 8, 2018 Monday, January 08, 2018 5:32:00 PM CST January 08, 2018 in Continuous News
By: Zara McDowell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - For people living far from hospitals, getting health care from specialists is a challenge. Telehealth programs bring rural hospital patients closer to specialists without the two-hour drive, taking time off work and the expenses that come with it.

Telecommunication brings healthcare to rural areas via videochat.

The program, ECHO, "stands for extension for community healthcare outcomes. This was the brain-child of a very mission-based doctor in New Mexico. He noticed people were dying all over New Mexico from untreated Hepatitis C," Dr. Karen Edison, Medical Director of the Show-Me ECHO Program said. “He had a 10 month wait to see him at the University of New Mexico.”

Edison gave KOMU 8 News a look at how the ECHO program works from start to finish. 

"From the specialty side, from our conference room, on our screen we see what looks like...The Hollywood Squares, or The Brady Bunch,” Edison chuckled.

Edison said there's usually about 10 to 12 participants on the video screen each ECHO.

Essentially, the ECHO program turns a regular conference room into a video conference room that brings specialty healthcare to rural parts of Missouri.

"These are primary care providers out in rural areas, prisons, native American reservations... in community, presenting cases that they've seen in their own clinics and then getting advice from a multidisciplinary team of specialists," Edison said.

Edison said the first step of ECHO is the primary care providers discussing the process with their patient.

"They can say I'm going to take your case with your permission and I'm going to show it to a whole team of sub-specialists." Edison said. The provider brings the case to the team, masking all identifiers, and gets the specialists opinion and recommendations on what to do next. 

It cuts out the possibility of a long drive, the extra day off work and the extra time, just for an appointment with a specialist.

“Then that provider goes back to that patient and says here's what that team recommended we do next for you. And that can be quite powerful for our primary care providers out there in rural Missouri,” Edison said.

Jon Moore is a physician's assistant at Mercy Hospital in St. Robert, Missouri, about 2 hours south of Columbia. He has participated in ECHO since the dermatology ECHO started in Missouri two years ago.

“Instead of making a consult with the University and then being seen two months later, we get it staffed and ideas and plans implemented within weeks, in what used to be months without having to put a patient in a car and have them drive anywhere from 1 to 4 hours from my area." Moore said. "I'm already on a 3rd and 4th follow-up by the time they'd initially be seen, so its all about patient satisfaction through timeliness."

This ECHO team in Columbia is what’s known as a super hub, meaning their ECHO team can train others on how to do ECHOs. They have trained people from Vietnam and Thailand.

"It’s just eye-opening, where else are you going to get a university level training for a complete hour with several residents, at least half a dozen dermatologists discussing what’s the latest and the greatest thing you can do," Moore said.

"We have great healthcare providers out there doing the best they can but they really sometimes need the input of specialty providers in different areas and you can do ECHO sessions around anything that is costly, chronic and complex," Edison said.

Edison and her team started an Opioid use disorder ECHO in September.

"When we announced it we right away had 76 people say they were interested in participating, which is a record for our ECHO programs," Edison said. "We’ve had four sessions so far and we’ve had over 30 participants so far at each session."

The ECHO's are done over the lunch-hour to give every physician, doctor and specialist a chance to take part.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The man killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton on Wednesday has been identified as Charles... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - A school in Gasconade County went on lockdown on Wednesday after a juvenile threatened to self-harm nearby,... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:39:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a request on Monday to change the zoning of nearly 50 properties in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Andy Neidert's building on the corner of East High Street and Madison Street has been collapsing and held... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A former Missouri woman, now living in Florida's panhandle, said Wednesday she is experiencing the "catastrophic"... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Claire McCaskill's office has responded to a investigative piece by Project Veritas,which focuses on her campaign office. ... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:24:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A white woman has been fired after video emerged of her confronting and blocking the entry of a... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Robert Pinhero created a GoFundMe page and is recruiting drivers to help get voters without a car... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Cole County – From oil-dripping trucks to ones without seatbelts, Cole County Fire District officials say there's a pressing need... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:38:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Eight people were arrested after the Callaway County Sherrif's Office found 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine, about one... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:11:43 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — In ads and speeches, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is pounding Missouri voters with a single... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A multi-vehicle crash sent one man to the hospital with injuries right before the Wednesday morning commute.... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The man prosecutors accused of killing Lincoln University student Charon Session pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. About... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:54:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri had to toss out giving its Nobel Prize winning scientist a parking space... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:24:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — No winning lottery ticket was sold for the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the estimated... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:14:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for a suspect after an armed robbery at a convenience store in... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- A new mobile pantry location through The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will open Wednesday afternoon providing... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
11pm 46°
12am 43°
1am 41°
2am 41°