John Lewis

Free Virtual Care Available During Hurricane Florence

By John Lewis

MUSC virtual care

Dangerous storms like Hurricane Florence force millions of people to evacuate their homes. While the storm slowly makes its way toward the Carolinas, much of coastal South Carolina is under a mandatory evacuation order to avoid the potentially deadly storm.

As emergency responders are preparing the coast for the Category 4 hurricane heading its way, the Medical University of South Carolina is expanding its telehealth services for the weekend to address health concerns during Hurricane Florence.

Governor Expresses Support for Telehealth at Bill Signing

By John Lewis

Governor Signing Bill

Before a ceremonial bill signing at the state house, Gov. Henry McMaster said he hopes to see telehealth continue to grow across the state.

“I look forward to the day we have total telemedicine in the state, when all the people on their cell phone can have access to medical care,” said McMaster.

Senate Bill 345, which expands practice abilities and cuts regulations for advanced practice nurses (APRNs), went into effect July 1.

He's Not the Same Kid: How Telehealth Changed a Student's Life

By John Lewis

School-based telehealth program in Williamsburg County gets student's asthma under control.

Timothy struggled in school. A freshman at C.E. Murray High School in Williamsburg County, he was reserved and inattentive in class. But he had a much bigger problem out of the classroom: severe, poorly-controlled asthma.

“In over 20 years of pediatric practice, he is probably the most severe asthmatic I’ve ever treated,” said Kelli Garber, the lead nurse practitioner for the Medical University of South Carolina’s Center for Telehealth. “He had already been referred to the emergency department twice by ambulance from school.”

Statewide Telehealth Summit Spotlights South Carolina's Success

By John Lewis

Telehealth Summit of South Carolina

Each year, Palmetto Care Connections hosts an Annual Telehealth Summit of South Carolina.

2018 marks the sixth annual summit. The summit brings together providers, payers, and policy makers. During the summit, major players in healthcare recognize wins and discuss telehealth on both a national and local level.

Electronic Medical Records Critical for Telehealth

By John Lewis

Michael Haschker leads discussion at the sixth annual Telehealth Summit of South Carolina in Columbia.

As technology changes the way patients and health care providers see each other, it’s also changing how our doctors document our health records.

More practices in South Carolina are using telehealth equipment, allowing clinicians to connect to patients through video. The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance’s Michael Haschker says integrating an electronic medical records system into that equipment is crucial for the success of any telehealth program.

Technology Brings Doctors Directly to Nursing Home Residents

By John Lewis

Eleanor Grayson is examined with a telehealth machine in her home at The Village at Summerville.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16,000 South Carolinians lived in nursing homes in 2015.

Some nursing home residents can still be mostly independent, while others require constant care. Dr. Russ Blackwelder, the associate medical director at The Village at Summerville, says his patients will do better if they stay in their home environment and avoid the hospital whenever they can.

But the doctor can’t be at the facility 24/7, and for years that meant automatic hospital trips for patients that needed to be seen.

Telehealth Keeps Young Player on the Soccer Field

By John Lewis

12-year-old Justin Ruiz makes a save during soccer practice. Ruiz suffers from sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a blood disease that can affect every organ in the body. It's an inherited and incurable condition, but it can be treated and managed. Sickle cell patients, like 12-year-old Justin Ruiz of Hilton Head Island, also have an increased risk of stroke. Justin needs annual tests to assess his stroke risk. However, one of his parents had to miss a full day of work, and he would miss a full day of school and soccer practice, to get the test done in Charleston at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).