Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Prepares to Launch First Ambulance Telemedicine Solution in GA
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Posted by: Angela King
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, a charitable nonprofit promoting the establishment of telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, announces the launch of the first ambulance telemedicine program in the state, which will benefit residents living in the rural communities of Hancock County, GA. The new program will not only provide more immediate patient care, but will also reduce overall emergency transportation costs for the county and its taxpayers, while allowing EMTs to focus on actual emergency situations.
The ambulance clinic will focus on diagnosing acute issues such as sore throats and flu, leading to fewer visits to regional hospital emergency rooms. EMTs will present patients through a mobile telemedicine “bag” located in the ambulance to physicians at Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton, GA. The program is a collaborative effort with Mercer University, Hancock County, Georgia Office of Rural Health, Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth and Excelsior Ambulance Services.
The solution is made possible by utilizing ambulance-mounted cameras and a cellular device that enables ambulance-specific WiFi. GPT is currently in the process of providing county EMTs and physicians at Putnam General Hospital with extensive telemedicine training as part of the program launch. The technology will also equip EMTs with physician telemedicine support during ambulance transport.
“This is a 4-phase program. Phase one allows patients to continue to call 911 for services,” explains Sherrie Williams, Executive Director of Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth. “In a study, it was found that 68% of EMT transports in Hancock County are non-emergency. These are the patients being targeted by this program. As the program moves forward, each phase will introduce new ways for residents to seek care outside of calling 911. We are trying to provide the right kind of care, at the right place, at the right time. GPT looks forward to expanding this type of telemedicine program into more counties in the future to increase the level of quality healthcare available in Georgia’s rural communities.”
Source. Metro Atlanta CEO. http://metroatlantaceo.com/news/2015/07/georgia-partnership-telehealth-prepares-launch-first-ambulance-telemedicine-solution-georgia/