OSU for Health Sciences launches telehealth service at rural hospital to help patients during coronavirus pandemic

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Thomas Engle, PA-C, and his team at Fairfax Community Hospital in Osage County will be the first rural hospital to launch OSU TeleHealth Solution through its partnership with the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. Photo provided by OSU.

STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma State University for Health Sciences launched enhanced telehealth services at an Osage County hospital to provide rural patients with immediate medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The enhanced OSU TeleHealth Solution was launched at Fairfax Community Hospital in Osage County. Through the program, rural patients will receive “immediate medical care using advanced technology to connect with certified, licensed physicians in real time,” according to an OSU news release.

Fairfax became the first rural hospital to launch OSU TeleHealth Solution through its partnership with the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Fairfax Community Hospital in-patients can now access virtual doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On-site nurses collaborating with a health care provider can run tests, conduct assessments and offer a plan of care through a virtual telemedicine mobile cart while the patient rests in their hospital bed, according to the news release.

“The COVID-19 crisis is reaching into rural Oklahoma adding a strain to rural hospitals that are trying to bring patients the best care possible right in their hometowns,” said OSU Medicine CEO Rhett Stover. “Technology now allows Oklahoma licensed physicians to assess Oklahoma’s rural patients via enhanced telemedicine tools that help diagnose and begin a treatment plan for patients who are miles away. Rural healthcare providers can keep patients in their home community without the added disruption of care to transport patients long distances for a hospital admission.”

The hospital is using the technology to serve rural residents as the COVID-19 pandemic surges, the news release states.

“Telehealth is a service we have always needed and can now access. In addition to recruiting qualified physicians to travel to Fairfax, we can instantly access board-certified healthcare providers using OSU’s technology to provide quality healthcare at a touch of button,” said Carl Laffoon, Interim CEO of Fairfax Community Hospital.

Fairfax can now provide a wider array of clinical services thanks to the hospital’s relationship with OSU TeleHealth Solutions and OSU Medicine, according to the news release.

“OSU Telehealth Solution will provide our hospital with an opportunity where trained physicians actually see the patients every day,” added Laffoon, “This proactive approach allows us go above and beyond and thoroughly evaluate and treat each of our patients.”

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