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Patient Profiles

Diabetes & Telehealth

 

When it comes to telehealth, Nancy Alsobrooks says it’s not only the next best thing to being there, it’s a Godsend.


The 49-year-old from Columbus has struggled with managing her diabetes since being diagnosed 15 years ago. “It has been like a journey,” she said. “I’ll get one area to work for a while but I can’t get everything working together at the same time.”


Chase Larmour, a nurse practitioner with North Columbus Medical Clinic, referred Alsobrooks to North Mississippi Medical Center’s Diabetes Treatment Center in Tupelo, where she saw nurse practitioner Leslie Hale in November 2015. “Leslie makes you feel welcome and relaxed, like someone you’ve known all along,” she said.


Unfortunately, Alsobrooks had to cancel her next three appointments. “I work two jobs, so you can imagine trying to get off work to come to Tupelo,” she said. “I don’t trust my car to get me there, and the rides I line up don’t always work out. I couldn’t get refills on my medicines because I couldn’t get to my appointments.”


When NMMC launched telehealth services in February 2016, Alsobrooks jumped at the opportunity. North Columbus Medical Clinic has specialized equipment that allows Hale to perform the same thorough exam she would at her clinic in Tupelo. “I can do everything that I would do in a traditional office visit—take vital signs, perform a physical examination, provide education and insulin instruction,” Hale said. “In fact, using an attached device I can actually examine wounds or skin lesions better than with the naked eye. The only thing I can’t do is shake their hand or pat them on the back.”

 

“We see each other and talk to each other. She listens to my heart,” Alsobrook added. “We talk about my A1C levels and about meal planning and recipes. It’s a blessing from God, I tell you.”


Geriatrics & Telehealth

 

The technology is also working well for patients who need a gerontologist like Lee Greer, M.D., at IMA-Tupelo. “With telehealth I have the ability to take care of patients without them having to come to me,” Dr. Greer said. “This technology allows us to deliver high quality specialty care in a rural community, which was unheard of before telehealth.”


Several patients at Baldwyn Nursing Facility appreciate the convenience offered by telehealth. “Traveling to physician appointments can be very taxing on our residents and their families and caregivers. Some even require ambulance transport, which is very costly,” said Kim Jones, RN, Baldwyn Nursing Facility charge nurse. “With telehealth, our residents are able to stay in a familiar comfortable environment with all the benefits of an excellent assessment and evaluation by the health care provider. This is especially helpful to our residents with dementia.”