Somos Inc. is actively working to provide telehealth services to residents of Maryland's Eastern Shore. We are entering year 3 of our HRSA Rural Outreach Services Grant which allowed us to develop telemedicine services to the remote residents of Smith Island as well as to develop chronic care management and remote patient monitoring for residents of lower Somerset County.
The Shore Telehealth Access Network is a development project that has arisen from our learned experiences in providing telehealth services to our area. . The purpose of the Shore Telehealth Access Network (STAN) is to address the health care disparities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore by developing a telehealth network of providers and agencies that will expand and improve access to care services, health promotion and disease prevention services and improve patient outcomes via delivery of community based nurse driven telemedicine programs. STAN will focus on the development of a centralized location for network information, assistance and coordination for telehealth providers interested in servicing the shore as well as to Eastern Shore healthcare providers and organizations to expand and coordinate access to primary care, specialist consultation and nurse managed wellness/preventive services. STAN will use evidenced based practice of connecting rural residents to health
care through telemedicine in combination with a nurse driven holistic, community approach to health and disease management. The establishment of STAN will provide a network to provide collaborations amongst diverse agencies and
providers to address rural Maryland’s Eastern Shore population health and improve health outcomes
SHORE TELEHEALTH ACCESS NETWORK (STAN)
Telemedicine provides an opportunity to make health care available to individuals who are in remote and rural areas. Somerset County Maryland is amongst the poorest counties in the state and has one of the lowest access to care. Recognized by the state as having poorest health outcomes and with high health needs, we believe that telemedicine may be an answer to improving our community health.
What Services Can Be Provided By Telemedicine?
Sometimes telemedicine is best understood in terms of the services provided and the mechanisms used to provide those services. Here are some examples:
Primary care and specialist referral services may involve a primary care or allied health professional providing a consultation with a patient or a specialist assisting the primary care physician in rendering a diagnosis. This may involve the use of live interactive video or the use of store and forward transmission of diagnostic images, vital signs and/or video clips along with patient data for later review.
Remote patient monitoring, including home telehealth, uses devices to remotely collect and send data to a home health agency or a remote diagnostic testing facility (RDTF) for interpretation. Such applications might include a specific vital sign, such as blood glucose or heart ECG or a variety of indicators for homebound patients. Such services can be used to supplement the use of visiting nurses.
Consumer medical and health information includes the use of the Internet and wireless devices for consumers to obtain specialized health information and on-line discussion groups to provide peer-to-peer support.
Medical education provides continuing medical education credits for health professionals and special medical education seminars for targeted groups in remote locations.
Somos, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health,
education and welfare of the rural residents of Maryland's Eastern Shore.