Telehealth arrives in Winston County

From staff reports

Winston Medical Center and University of Mississippi Medical Center have joined together to bring specialty care to Winston County through the telehealth program.

The WMC and UMMC plan to kick off the program in April at the Winston Medical Center.

“We are here to build it (telehealth) to the needs of Winston Medical Center and the citizens of the Winston County,” said Dr. Kristi Henderson of UMMC and the telehealth program.

UMMC started the teleheatlh program 10 years ago and has been building the program across the state working especially with rural hospitals and clinics.

Dr. Henderson

Dr. Henderson

“We are excited to be partnering with Winston Medical Center,” said Henderson.

Lee McCall, director of the Winston Medical Center, echoed the statement.

“We are excited to be working with UMMC and this quite impressive technology,” said McCall.

The technology allows specialists to work with nurses and doctors over a video feed to help patients whether in an emergency situation or in a regular examination setting.

“We (UMMC) has 120 specialists and all can be setup with telehealth,” said Henderson.

In over half of Mississippi counties, patients must drive more than 40 minutes to receive specialty health care.

“The program saves money since patients do not need to make lengthy trips from rural hospitals to specialists,” said Henderson.

Using online video technology, UMMC provides remote medical care, health education and public health services through telehealth and can help rural hospitals offer more care that once was only available at major hospitals.

“This is the way of the future,” said Henderson.

The Center for Telehealth offers telemedicine, wellness care, disaster response, workforce development, business development, research and education to people in all parts of the state. Since the program began in 2003, the services have helped more than half a million rural Mississippians in need. The telehealth services now include over 30 different medical specialties, including adult and pediatric specialties, and extend to more than 100 clinical sites.

Providing our state with improved emergency medical services and specialty health care through telemedicine technology, UMMC Center for Telehealth is eliminating barriers to quality health care for Mississippians.

The program is set to be in 52 counties by the end of 2014.

Henderson described the program to the Rotary Club of Louisville March 12.