Clinical e-Health Solutions Uses Polycom Visual Communication To Bring High Quality Healthcare To Rural And Underserved Areas
Healthcare pioneer America Service Group leverages 15 years of expertise to expand telemedicine program, helping patients nationwide obtain high quality medical care regardless of location
BRENTWOOD, Tenn., PLEASANTON, Calif. and LAS VEGAS, American Telemedicine Association 14th Annual Meeting & Exposition - As healthcare costs increase, primary care providers and specialists gravitate to metropolitan areas, and travel costs skyrocket, patients in underserved communities are feeling the aftermath. Fortunately Clinical e-Health Solutions, the newest subsidiary of America Service Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASGR), is using visual communication solutions from Polycom®, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communications, to improve access to care in underserved areas and rural communities. Clinical e-Health Solutions is reaching out to those in need of access to care and those who want the convenience of expedient access to care by providing telemedicine services nationwide.
Clinical e-Health Solutions leverages the more than 15 years of telemedicine expertise of its parent company America Service Group (ASG), which has worked with government clients to bring remote patient care to communities in both rural and urban settings. Through its telemedicine network, ASG subsidiaries provide healthcare for more than 180,000 patients in 23 states. The services the company provides include disease management, continuous quality improvement, and training and education to the private sector.
Carl Keldie, M.D., chief medical officer for Clinical e-Health Solutions, noted, “The need for telemedicine services in certain communities was evident. We noticed several trends were converging to create an opportunity that made perfect sense for a company that knows how to cost effectively deliver telemedicine, while still maintaining high standards of care.” After evaluating a number of solutions providers, he chose Polycom.
“Our goal was to equip the fast-growing network of clinics that provide primary and specialty healthcare to consumers with the resources and technologies they need to effectively treat these patients. Our Polycom telemedicine network allows us to leverage a pool of primary care and specialty care clinicians who enable these facilities to provide that level of care, without requiring the patients or the physicians to travel to meet in person.”
Dr. Keldie initially deployed several Polycom video conferencing systems. Ideal for use in doctors’ offices and medical care facilities, space-efficient desktop video systems feature a 17-inch LCD monitor that can double as a PC display when not in use for video calls. Recently, Clinical e-Health Solutions added the Polycom Converged Management Application™ (CMA™) 5000 to its network, which allows Dr. Keldie’s team to centrally manage their visual communication activities and resources, speed deployment, and ease integration with existing applications and resources. The CMA Desktop, an integrated desktop video collaboration software solution, also allows members of Clinical e-Health Solutions’ widely dispersed team of clinicians to easily, transparently and securely call anyone else on the network directly from their laptops or PCs.
In addition to the consistent benefit of healthcare via telemedicine programs – access to care regardless of location – Dr. Keldie also remarked on the ROI of the program. “In the past three to five years, we’ve realized savings that exceed six figures,” he said.
“We looked at all the major vendors in this space,” said Dr. Keldie. “Polycom easily met our criteria for compatibility, scalability, and ease of deployment. It was also clear that Polycom would work with us as a partner, so we made the strategic choice to standardize exclusively on Polycom solutions for our telemedicine network.”
Through its network, Clinical e-Health Solutions not only saves costs associated with having clinicians travel to client facilities, but it dramatically cuts down on the time lost to these daily commutes. “Some of our physicians were working 10-hour days, though in that time, they might have been able to provide only six to eight hours of point-of-service care. That means they were losing two to four hours every day to windshield time.”
In this regard, the Polycom systems even serve as a retention tool for key staffers. “Our oncologist started his practice in Pennsylvania,” explains Dr. Keldie. “When he announced he was moving to Washington State and would need to look for another job, we said, ‘You already have a job – with us.’ Today he serves our Pennsylvania clients from an office near his home in Washington using Polycom.”
“There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping patients in need while also running an efficient, cost-effective business that ultimately contains costs for our partners and customers. With Polycom, we’re able to do just that,” he concluded.
About Clinical e-Health Solutions
Clinical e-Health Solutions is a subsidiary of America Service Group Inc. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based parent company is a leading provider of healthcare services for federal, state and local governments throughout the United States. A telemedicine pioneer, the company has delivered centralized clinical care to government clients for 15 years. Please visit www.clinicalehealth.com for more information.
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information.
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