My Telehealth

All Stations: Monday 1:33pm; Wednesday 7:45am; Friday 5:44pm
  • Hosted by Tabitha Safdi

Through the human stories of patients, families, clinicians and others, South Carolina Public Radio will carefully dissect the complexities of Telehealth.  

The goal of each story is to elevate public understanding and knowledge of Telehealth and its diverse services in South Carolina. 

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.

Ways to Connect

Broadband Access for Telehealth Continues to Vary

May 17, 2017
Palmetto Care Connection's Technology Director assembles a telehealth cart in Columbia, South Carolina.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

When it comes to telehealth implementation, broadband access can be vital for a quality connection. Local and federal officials weigh in on its significance and some efforts to reduce reported disparities.

My Telehealth logo
SCETV

South Carolina law limits what medicines a doctor can prescribe to a patient who has only been seen via telemedicine. Doctors can request individual exceptions from the board of South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners to prescribe certain controlled substances. A reproductive psychiatrist at the Medical University of South Carolina is asking for an exception to prescribe some opioid medications to pregnant women who need treatment for chronic pain or addiction.

South Carolina ETV is a member of the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance.

Insurance Coverage of Telehealth Services Limited

May 1, 2017
My Telehealth logo
SCETV

Connecting with a doctor over a live video feed is becoming more common, but insurance coverage of telehealth varies widely. State Medicaid programs, Medicare and private payers cover different services at different rates.

The federal health insurance program for senior citizens, Medicare, has some of the most limiting coverage for telehealth and telemedicine services. The program only covers patients in strictly defined rural areas and limits the medical professionals that can be reimbursed for providing telehealth services. 

A Charleston-based geneticist discusses results with a family that is located two hours away in a Florence clinic.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

  In 2016, the Greenwood Genetics Center began using telehealth to combat a national and local geneticist shortage. Through video conferencing, patients and families are able to schedule appointments when a geneticist might not be available otherwise.

Healthcare Sites Using Video Technology for Diabetes Education

Apr 17, 2017
A virtual meeting with an educator for a diabetes self-management course.
Marina Ziehe/SCETV

It is estimated that about 400,000 of the 4.8 million people in South Carolina have diabetes. That’s about 10% of the population. Diabetes self-management education is a critical element of care for people with diabetes. To help overcome transportation and distance barriers for people in rural areas of the state, some healthcare sites have adopted an innovative solution.

Inmates at a S.C. Department of Corrections facility.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

The South Carolina Department of Corrections aims to cut costs and increase public safety by minimizing inmate medical transports. They will begin using telehealth at five of their facilities, to connect Medical University of South Carolina providers to inmates over video.

Technology Extends Health Care to S.C. Schools

Apr 3, 2017
Nurse practitioner Kelli Garber teaches school-nurse Lidie Collier how to use the telehealth cart.
Taylor Crouch

Many schools in South Carolina are using technology to expand student care. Through a telehealth cart, students can connect to local providers at their nurse’s office. The goal is to bring convenience to families, facilitate continuum of care and increase access to quality care.

State Mental Health Director John Magill reading Governor Henry McMaster's proclamation in the lobby of the State House.
Tabitha Safdi/SC Public Radio

A group of doctors, academics, public health and government officials gathered at the South Carolina State House this week. Their goal is to expand the reach and capabilities of telehealth services in the state. At a press conference in the State House lobby, stakeholders spoke on the importance of telehealth in the state and the significance of the governor’s distinction.

State Mental Health Director John Magill reading Governor Henry McMaster’s proclamation in the lobby of the State House.

Doctor Eases burden for Frequent Patients, Uses Video for Follow-Ups

Mar 6, 2017
Dr. Markowitz connecting with family through video conferencing.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

Patients seeking treatment for a rare digestive disorder called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE) might have multiple tests and appointments per year. A pediatric gastroenterologist in Greenville has turned to video, for connecting to distant South Carolina patients, saving them a trip for follow-up appointments.

A Kingstree family connecting to doctor at MUSC via telehealth.
Marina Ziehe

In Williamsburg County, finding a specialized doctor can be difficult. Many residents live miles away from a health care provider, going without adequate medical care. A telehealth network was established in multiple sites across the county to help residents access the services they need.

Game Offers Unique Therapy for Stroke Rehabilitation

Feb 21, 2017
Occupational Therapist Michelle Woodbury uses a game to enhance therapy sessions with stroke patients.
Taylor Crouch

In order to meet the needs of her patients, an occupational therapist at the Medical University of South Carolina teamed up with technical experts from Clemson to create tool to engage patients in the clinic and at home. Through a virtual therapy session, patients can play a game to meet their therapy goals, different than traditional care.

S.C. Medical Universities Teach Telehealth to Students

Feb 16, 2017
Students examining telehealth equipment at MUSC.
Taylor Crouch

Faced with a changing healthcare landscape, medical schools across the state are implementing telehealth education to their curriculum. The American Medical Association supports telehealth training for future medical professionals, and encourages the adoption of innovative programs that may improve the way care is delivered to communities across the country.​

Tele-Stroke Expands Stroke Treatment in South Carolina

Feb 10, 2017
Brain scan of stroke patient.
Taylor Crouch

When it comes to stroke treatment, “time is brain.” Emergency departments across South Carolina are adopting tele-stroke as an important component of patient’s stroke care by helping emergency teams to rapidly evaluate and treat stroke patients.  

South Carolina Burn Center Reaches Distant Patients Through Telemedicine

Jan 31, 2017
Pediatric burn physicians consulting remotely with patient through telemedicine cart.
Taylor Crouch

Even though burns are a leading pediatric injury in South Carolina, there is only one burn center in the state. At the Medical University of South Carolina they see patients from all parts of the state. Most recently, some of the patients do not have to travel as far, as the hospital has been expanding the use of remote consultations using telemedicine.

Home-monitoring keeping some High-risk Patients out of the Hospital

Jan 24, 2017
Home health nurse watching over patient as she sends vitals in to be analyzed.
Taylor Crouch

A home-monitoring program is allowing high-risk patients stay out of the hospital. With telehealth, patients submit vital signs to their doctor, in the comfort of their own home. Through daily measurements the doctors monitor any sudden changes, while patients adopt healthy habits to last a lifetime.

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