Groundbreaking Telehealth Program Reaching Rural & Underserved Populations

Teller County, CO develops a first-of-its-kind telehealth program using Pulsara as the backbone for rural health communications.

Pulsara, the leading mobile telehealth, communication, and logistics platform that unites healthcare teams and technologies across organizations during dynamic events, published new details on Teller County, Colorado’s groundbreaking community paramedicine and telehealth program. Reporting on their initial challenges, the solutions they found, and results, the “911-INITIATED TELEMEDICINE: Next-Level Patient Care for Rural Colorado” case study reveals a new pathway forward for EMS agencies across the globe.

As COVID-19 escalated across the country in early 2020, EMS and hospital leaders in Teller County, CO, identified that residents were reluctant to seek care—for any condition—at the hospital. “Up to 40% of our EMS volume does not want to go to the hospital once 911 arrives,” said Dr. Jeremy DeWall, EMS Medical Director for the Teller region. “Looking at our numbers, the fear was that we were missing a large group of people who were without healthcare or afraid to go to healthcare because of COVID-19.”

Leveraging their already thriving community paramedicine program, Teller county’s Ute Pass Regional Health Service District and Emergency Medical Specialists, PC set in motion a new 911-initiated telemedicine program, utilizing Pulsara’s telehealth capabilities to address the acute needs of the community.

“Community paramedics are in the field. We’re mobile. We’re used to going into people’s homes, and it’s relatively safe for us to do so,” shared James McLaughlin, Director of Community Paramedicine at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District. “There aren’t as many physicians as there are community paramedics. We’re able to go from call to call, while the physician, [through live video], teams up with community paramedics to provide their services.” By using Pulsara, medics were able to avoid exposure, preserve resources, reach underserved populations, and deliver top-notch care to patients who were afraid to leave home during the pandemic.

The program has been well received by patients—particularly Teller County’s older residents. “The biggest embracers of this so far have been our geriatric population,” said McLaughlin. “They love this because they know they’re at risk by leaving the house. And because [Pulsara] is so seamless for them, they embraced it wholeheartedly. We have them grabbing the tablet from us, saying, ‘Son, just get out of my way. Let me talk to the doc.’ It’s fantastic. It’s incredible how it’s increased their access to services.”

“Working with the Teller County EMS Medical Direction and Agency Leadership to help better serve their community has been an amazing experience,” said Kris Kaull, Pulsara Chief Marketing Officer, and Critical Care Flight Paramedic. “Their ongoing commitment to innovation and growth around better patient care has been inspiring and humbling. The community paramedicine and telehealth systems they are developing today are creating a patient-centric sustainable and scalable model for healthcare systems worldwide. We are truly honored to play a key role in that development.”

For more details and access to the full report, download the case study here.

Need help managing COVID-19 communications and logistics? Pulsara can help. From helping mitigate patient surge to streamlining patient transfers, minimizing exposure, and more, learn more about COVID-19 + Pulsara here.

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