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Rural Health Information Hub

Summit Healthcare Association

  • Project Title: Summit Healthcare Telemedicine Program
  • Grant Period: 5/01/2015 – 4/30/2018
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Fredda Kermes, Project Director
  • Location: Show Low, AZ
  • Program Overview: Summit Healthcare Association, a nonprofit hospital in rural Navajo County, implemented a broad range of telehealth approaches to improve access to specialty care for local residents. Examples of Summit's telehealth programs include:
    • Teleconsults for behavioral health services. Summit partnered with primary care practices to facilitate access to behavioral health consults. Patients meet with behavioral health providers through telehealth-enabled tablets or video carts.
    • Telestroke and teleneurology consults. Patients who present in the emergency department with stroke or other neurological conditions receive consults from external specialists through live video conferencing. The success of this program has resulted in the accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center, further enhancing quality of care outcomes for patients presenting with stroke symptoms.
    • Tele Intensive Care Unit (TeleICU). External providers monitor patients in Summit's TeleICU through telehealth. Patient rooms are equipped with cameras and providers track live data feeds to monitor vital signs and review lab results.
    • Remote patient monitoring for congestive heart failure. Summit provides home monitoring devices to patients with congestive heart failure. Staff from the hospital's chronic disease management program monitor data transmissions and follow up when necessary.
    • Telenephrology for nephrology patients. Summit partnered with a nephrology group in Flagstaff, Arizona to provide this needed specialty for hospitalized patients through the use of peripheral examination-equipped telehealth carts. This has significantly reduced the need to transfer patients who require hemodialysis during hospitalization.
    • Telegenetics for genetic counseling. Summit partnered with a tertiary center in Phoenix, Arizona to provide genetic counseling via live videoconferencing. This provided access to genetic counseling services in rural settings.
    • Telepain for pain management consults. A Summit Pain Management Specialist trained to provide telepain consults to outlying Summit primary care practices equipped with telehealth carts. This service significantly reduced travel time for patients to receive pain management consults.

Models represented by this program: