Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cool Stuff at the SC Telemedicine Summit

   The SCRHRC, South Carolina AHEC, and the Medical University of South Carolina, with funding from the Duke Endowment, collaborated on "Telemedicine for South Carolina:  Addressing Healthcare Needs in Rural and Underserved Communities."  Full proceedings, including video, will be posted on the web.
   Coolest presentations, other than our own Amy Martin outlining the results of our statewide surveys of primary care and specialist docs:
   Ronald Weinstein, MD of Arizona on how that state created a telemedicine utility
   Herrmann Spetzler from the Open Door Community Health Network in Eureka, CA.  As a teacher of healthcare management, I particularly liked his focus on telemedicine as a business model, not a technology.  With telemedicine giving him the ability to draw patients from geographically diverse sites, Mr. Spetzler can afford to pay a flat fee for a specialist's time spent at one of the Network's clinics, knowing that all of that time will be filled.  
    The next hurdle: if we can just convince our educational accrediting bodies that if medicine can be handled in a virtual world, face-to-face video education can count as "contact time."

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