MUSC background

Objective 2: Create an Open-Access Telehealth Network for South Carolina

What

Cognizant of its responsibility to maximize health care delivery throughout South Carolina, MUSC is establishing an open-access telehealth network that will allow all providers to collaborate, consult, and receive educational support directly in the setting in which they treat patients.  Relatively inexpensive video conferencing units are being placed throughout the state, with a focus on the areas in greatest need.  The security and stability of this network will be entrusted to the Palmetto State Provider Network, which already provides excellent connectivity to many health care sites in South Carolina. 

Telehealth consultative platforms that utilize a non-proprietary, common, and standards-based methodology for communication will be placed in South Carolina hospitals. Rural hospitals will receive the platform as a priority.  The Palmetto State Provider Network will maintain the integrity and security of communication.  The Medical University of South Carolina will provide services over this network, but the platform is open for utilization by all providers.

Why

The network will allow rural hospitals to retain some patients with the assistance of larger academic medical centers, keeping many patients close to home and bringing the hospitals much-needed financial support.  Similarly, hometown clinics will be supported by connections to specialists.  Coordinating all care through the primary care office is both better for patients and also supports the local health care community.   

How State-Appropriated Funds Will Be Utilized

  • Telehealth cart purchases
  • Small hospital support for capital expenses for Network connectivity

What to Expect and What Will Be Measured

increaseNumber of patients receiving specialty care in rural areas

 

decreaseCost of care due to patients receiving the right care in the right setting 

 

increaseControl of chronic diseases through primary and specialty care collaboration