The Redwoods Rural Health Center has become one of the first 50 healthcare centers to become a part of California's statewide telehealth network.
Earlier this month, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the state would soon be implementing the largest telehealth network in the nation, aimed primarily at bringing top-notch healthcare services to rural communities throughout the state. The program will link underserved communities with major urban healthcare centers to provide a high standard of care for all of California's residents, regardless of location.
The Redwoods Rural Health Center, based in Redway, California - a few hours north of San Francisco - will soon use video conferencing to allow its patients to be "seen" on two-way video in real time by specialists in other locations. That way, the patients won't need to travel long distances for highly specialized medical care.
Mark Mowrey, R.N., the clinical nurse manager at RRHC, explained to the Redwood Times that the program can help patients with conditions as diverse as rashes, psychiatric needs and diabetes. Response time by the program's specialists can be as little as six hours, Mowrey added.
"We're excited about giving our patients a broader experience of care and reducing transportation issues. This is a great opportunity that we hope people will take advantage of," he told the paper.
RRHC, founded in 1976, was created to meet the needs of northern California's rural residents. Hopefully, telehealth services will help make the goal even more accessible.