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Southwest Telehealth Resource Center Blog

When dealing with the challenges of bringing quality medical care to rural communities, the obstacles are twofold: lack of available resources and the high cost to administer care in rural environments.

We all know how teleradiology has impacted the care of human patients for the past 15 years or so and driven the field of telemedicine to the advanced state it is now, but what about our animal friends who get sick and need care when they live out in rural areas?

Not surprisingly (or maybe for some it is) telemedicine is a rapidly growing part of veterinary medicine, and as with human medicine, radiology is leading the way.

The need for genetic counselors is immense as there simply are not enough to cover the number of patients requiring their services.

Sound familiar? Can you think of a solution? Telegenetics of course!

But as we all know, you can’t just jump into telemedicine without some degree of training. That’s where the Western States Genetic Services Collaborative (WSGSC) comes into play.

Medical offices typically cluster doctors’ offices into a multi-tenant medical malls. Similar to retail malls that offer a myriad of shops, medical malls cluster doctors of different specialties under one roof. Such an arrangement offers shared resources (common areas) for practitioners and convenience for the consumer.

Later this spring, Critical Access Hospital (CAH) administrators, state Flex program staff, and rural health care leaders will gather to share information and best practices with their peers at the Western Region Flex Conference at Tucson’s Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort. 

Attendees will not only learn what CAHs in the western half of the US are doing to preserve essential medical services in their communities, but will also learn about the latest state and national health policy developments and their impact on rural health care from nationally-recognized experts such as Keith Mueller from the University of Iowa and the Rural Policy Research Institute and John Supplitt from the American Hospital Association. The conference will also showcase successful efforts undertaken by rural providers and communities in the western US to overcome barriers to implementing and sustaining telemedicine services.

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