In January of 2011, the St. Alexius Medical Center (SAMC) and the Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center (gpTRAC) joined forces to evaluate the potential of a new telehealth program. Their goal was to determine whether they could improve access and care for their many patients with chronic conditions who live in rural areas. In order to determine its effectiveness, SAMC and gpTRAC worked together to develop research parameters by which to quantify the results of the program.
Since its founding in 1885, the St. Alexius Medical Center (SAMC) has been dedicated to serving the residents of central and western North Dakota, northern South Dakota and eastern Montana – a patient population which, to a large degree, lives on rural homesteads and farms. This rural setting presented challenges for the medical staff at St. Alexius to effectively provide post-discharge follow-up care for patients with chronic conditions – a factor which compounded the need for continuous contact.
To address this challenge, SAMC implemented a new program called the Telehealth Home Care-Coordinated Disease Management Demonstration as a model to represent the potential effectiveness in chronic disease management, care coordination, and efficiency of care for rural patients focused around three chronic conditions: CHF, COPD and Diabetes.
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