Twenty percent of Americans live in a rural setting and full access to some medical care is limited: often requiring long drives or temporary relocations. That includes specialty palliative care -- the interdisciplinary services of physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains aimed at helping patients control symptoms of a serious illness.
On today's podcast, we explore a demonstration project underway in rural Stevens County, Washington undertaken by the Palliative Practice Group at the Providence Institute for Human Caring.
The in-person nursing and chaplaincy providers in two rural hospitals are being joined by physicians and social workers through a Tele-PC video connection or by phone, allowing patients to avoid 70-100 mile drives to seek consultations. And the Tele-PC connection allows far-flung family members to be involved in bedside conversations about the goals of care.