Renown’s rural Telehealth expands
November 28, 2016
Since launching in 2012, Renown TeleHealth has quickly grown to provide much needed care at 30 locations in Nevada and California. That growth is continuing with the addition off four more rural hospitals – Pershing General Hospital in Lovelock, Mount Grant General Hospital in Hawthorne, Battle Mountain General Hospital in Battle Mountain and Grover C. Dils Medical Center in Caliente.
All of these hospitals are considered critical access hospitals, which means they have 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds, are located more than 35 miles away from another hospital, and provide emergency care 24 hours per day, seven days each week.
"As a critical access hospital, being able to connect with emergency and specialty care providers in Reno will prove invaluable for patients coming to Pershing General," Patty Bianchi, CEO at Pershing General Hospital said. "Having this technology available is an important lifeline for our community – ensuring the greatest possible care for our patients while keeping them close to home."
Through TeleHealth's secure videoconferencing, rural emergency room care providers will be able to consult with Renown's emergency providers on any and all conditions that present to local emergency departments. Leveraging this leading-edge technology will help keep patients in their local hospital, deliver high-quality care immediately and avoid unnecessary transfers to Reno. Working with each of these hospitals, Renown will also expand TeleHealth services to include access to specialty care. This allows patients with chronic conditions to schedule consultations within 35 different specialties, eliminating much of the need to travel for appointments with a Reno-based specialist.
"In these small, rural communities resources are limited which is why TeleHealth access is all the more important," Kirk Gillis, vice president of accountable care for Renown Health said. "Having access to hospital and specialty telemedicine care will allow rural care providers to diagnose and treat patients while keeping them in their own community — close to family, home and work. The result is a reduction in unnecessary patient travel and transfers as well as improved quality of care."
TeleHealth has a number of benefits for both patients and the communities where they live. Staying local means fewer patient costs for travel, hotels, childcare and even lost wages. Offering ancillary services, such as laboratory testing and imaging, at local facilities also keeps more dollars in local communities. By expanding these services at rural hospitals, Renown aims to improve both healthcare and overall health and well-being in these communities.