CMC receives $510K grant to help expand telehealth to rural, underserved communities

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 11:01 AM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – A huge grant will soon allow Conway Medical Center to help those who don’t live near a doctor or don’t have the means to get to appointments.

The hospital received a $510,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to fund the creation of a Telehealth Team that will oversee and schedule telehealth services.

Telehealth allows healthcare providers to care for patients without an in-person visit. Over the past few years, a number of departments at CMC have used telehealth to reach and care for patients.

The grant will be used to promote the use of telehealth, oversee the telehealth program and schedule telehealth services for CMC.

The Telehealth Team will include a nurse/telehealth coordinator and patient navigator.

The funding will also be used to find ways to improve healthcare in rural and underserved areas that have high rates of disease and poverty.

“People living in rural communities often have limited access to health care, travel long distances to receive care, and may even delay care until they have a health emergency,” said Bret Barr, CMC president and CEO.

To determine those community needs, CMC will examine patients who apply for charity care and select 500 people to take part in a pilot project that will provide telehealth care to rural communities.

The pilot program will teach patients how to use telehealth, provide patients with primary care or specialty care services through telehealth and then CMC will determine if telehealth improved the outcomes for those who are underserved.

CMC said there are several benefits to telehealth, including decreased travel time and reduced cost for lost wages for those who have had to miss out on work to go to appointments. The hospital added that telehealth can in turn reduce wait times at the hospitals and improve staffing issues.

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