Goal

To provide quality emergency care in rural areas in Mississippi where resources and medical providers are often scarce.

Overview

In Mississippi, rural residents with emergency medical needs are often hundreds of miles away from getting appropriate care.

For that reason, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) approached The Bower Foundation with a unique concept of delivering quality emergency medical care to rural areas. UMMC proposed connecting rural nurse practitioners with the Emergency Department of UMMC using telemedicine technology. This way, local practitioners could receive critical support in providing medical coverage to some of Mississippi's most medically underserved regions through a video link with UMMC physicians.

After receiving start-up funding from the Foundation, the program is now financially self-sufficient and has received $5.8 million from the FCC to expand the program to more hospitals, health departments and physician offices. It is now poised not just to improve health care in Mississippi's underserved areas, but also to continue educating nurse practitioners across the state.

Results

Today, TelEmergency provides emergency medical coverage to 15 emergency departments in rural critical access hospitals. The 10th anniversary of the system was celebrated on 10/1/2013 with over 500,000 patients statewide receiving care through this system since it began in 2003.