This morning, Intermountain’s own Lory Maddox was part of a panel with Dr. Ganapathy Krishnan from India, where they discussed operational challenges to the implementation and management of TeleHealth programs, as well as outreach to rural regions in the mountains. Lory has a broad background in nursing, serving in both military and academic settings, and is now a Clinical Operations Manager for Intermountain Healthcare’s TeleHealth Services. She was one of the early members of the TeleHealth team, involved in the initial development and implementation of TeleHealth technology at Intermountain, supporting diverse clinical services. Her current focus area is development, implementation, and management of Women and Newborn Clinical Program. That means it’s her job to coordinate and align the technology team with Legal and Compliance, the bedside clinical team with the payers like SelectHealth, and everyone else in between.
Lory explained to attendees at ATA that what helps Intermountain come together is remembering to stay focused on what is best for our patients, like Piper who was one of the first newborns Intermountain treated with the support of TeleHealth.
Alignment between our clinical programs and support services is key to Intermountain’s TeleHealth Strategy. TeleHealth leaders have, by design, created a flexible program with enough structure to thoroughly implement any clinical program, with enough flexibility to allow for each clinical service line’s unique challenges and opportunities. The idea is that TeleHealth Services, as well as the other clinical support services, is into the fabric of our how we deliver healthcare services – rather than a separate service providing the same service, but to more remote patients, TeleHealth technology is just another tool, albeit a relatively new one, used by clinicians to treat patients.
TeleHealth is used for a variety of functions within multiple clinical focus areas. For example, in Women and Newborns, the most visible and celebrated (so far) of Intermountain’s TeleHealth-supported programs is neonatal resuscitation. Applying TeleHealth technology to newborns who are past the crisis of needing dramatic help like resuscitation, but are still in the NICU and not yet ready to go home, Intermountain is testing and piloting a service that will allow family who cannot visit the NICU to (with parents’ permission) check in on the new addition to their family. However, Lory also works on lactation support for new mothers, genetic counseling for maternal fetal medicine and other scheduled services. And that’s just what Lory is doing in Women and Newborns – one part of Intermountain’s TeleHealth Services team and what they’re working on.
Lory also elaborated on how the use and evaluation of TeleHealth is also affected by each patient and their circumstances, which with TeleHealth also includes the care setting (which could be their home, their car or even the chairlift on the ski slopes). One of the challenges TeleHealth puts to caregivers is to think through these difference circumstances.
If you’d like to know more about what Intermountain is doing with Newborns, click here: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/2015/04/TeleHealth-helps-newborns-when-they-need-it-most/