The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), the state’s only academic medical center, is working to improve access to healthcare for tens of thousands of rural residents who might otherwise go without—all through a secure digital video and audio connection.
UMMC has been in the telemedicine business since 2003. Today, its Center for Telehealth, established in 2013, provides 8,000 telemedicine visits a month—100,000 a year—through audio/visual linkups at clinics and hospitals across the state. The growing list of over 35 specialty services includes neurology, psychiatry, dermatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine and stroke. Early outcome data has been positive, former Center director Kristi Henderson told Politico last year.
One of the Center’s most successful initiatives, the Diabetes Telehealth Network, was launched in 2014 to forge a stronger connection between people with diabetes and clinicians in a way that supports earlier intervention and more effective use of health services, and creates positive health habits and behavior change. Mississippi faces a growing diabetes crisis, with more than 373,000 adults in the state living with some form of the disease.
Using specialized tablet computers with mobile broadband access and cutting-edge telehealth, UMMC specialists are able to share their expertise with citizens of rural Mississippi rather than requiring them to travel to the Center’s headquarters in Jackson for their healthcare.
UMMC announced earlier this year that due to the overwhelming success of the program, it is being expanded to serve those with a range of chronic diseases as well as other underserved populations across the Southeast.
At a Glance:
ACE Member Institution: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Honors & Recognition:
- TMC 2015 Telehealth Award for a breakthrough telehealth pilot program
- 2015 President’s Award: Health Delivery, Quality and Transformation from the American Telemedicine Association
- 2015 Hospital Charitable Service Award “Programs of Promise”