Just over a year ago, Mosaic Life Care was awarded a federal grant for $902,000 from the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine. These funds have been used for telemedicine devices for increased access to quality healthcare within the regional medical centers and their clinics.

The telehealth expansion eliminates the need to travel for medical visits or risk dangerous transfers in emergency situations. The service also allows physicians to spend less time traveling to rural communities and more time interfacing with patients.

Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville Vice President of Patient Services Debbie Hoffman, says they have been grateful for the grant as it has expanded care that was difficult to provide before.

“With the grant funds, we were able to purchase more robots for the medical center and the clinics,” Hoffman said. “We are able to provide care that we couldn’t before that has helped change the way we care for our patients.”

Keeping local care local

With the expansion of telehealth at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, patients no longer need to travel to see a specialist. They can take a short drive to the clinic or medical center, consult with a doctor via telehealth and receive the proper testing and care without the wait or travel.

Services that have never been offered before are now accessible due to this expansion, and the continuity of care across the system has helped make this program a success. Doctors can communicate with one another and ensure each patient is receiving the same level of care no matter the location.

Overcoming challenges

Another benefit to this program is the ability to hire doctors who are not easy to recruit in a rural setting.

“New physicians have been hired in specialties that are difficult to recruit in rural Missouri,” Hoffman said. “Having this telehealth program helps us hire physicians that are looking for flexibility.”

She and her team continue to explore areas of expansion and hope to provide even more telehealth services soon.