Easing the Burden of Accessing Pre- and Postsurgical Care for Rural Patients

Cornerstone News

In June, St. Joseph Healthcare was awarded $100,000 from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy toward the goal of establishing a surgical telehealth planning and facilitation network to better serve our rural patients.

We will partner with Islands Community Medical Services, Jackman Community Health Center, Harrington Family Health Center and St. Croix Regional Health Center to develop a process for patients receiving surgery at St. Joe’s to receive pre- and postsurgical care locally through their providers with the aid of newly certified facilitators.

The goals of this planning grant include:
• Observing the process of a surgeon’s visit with a patient to identify skill and knowledge gaps
• Creating a reproducible model of facilitated surgical telehealth services
• Creating a process for training and credentialing rural site telehealth facilitators, including the development of a Certified Telehealth Facilitator Course at Eastern Maine Community College

This important work will ensure that surgical patients who live in rural areas get the pre and post operative care they need close to home.

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