Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 5 5 e hospital system solved its challenges by leveraging telemedicine technology to link more than 30 Springfield physicians with patients at three rural hospitals. In the program's initial three months, 12 nurses and medical assistants at the community hospitals learned to use the new equipment. rough the use of telemedicine, patients now can receive care closer to their homes, and physicians can devote their time to treating patients instead of traveling. URBAN AREAS NEED HUBS, TOO e Illinois Medical District plans to take broadband and telemedicine to new levels with high-speed fiber. e 560-acre district includes four major hospitals, medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, two medical universities and more than 40 health care–related facilities – all connected by fiber. In big-city Chicago, where one would expect to find an abundance of internet capacity, "the district is in a broadband desert," says Warren Ribley, former district executive director. Some hospitals had to copy research results onto CDs and deliver them to other hospitals. "ere are currently numerous initiatives happening throughout the district that we believe will act as a catalyst for continued growth and economic development," says Ryan Gage, director of marketing and communications for the Illinois Medical District. Gage says Rush University Medical Center and the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind are just two major organizations planning expansion projects in the near future. ARKANSAS CREATES PREMIER HEALTH CARE HUB Arkansas used to lead the United States in stroke deaths. en came the Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support (AR SAVES) in 2008. It's a telemedicine program founded through a partnership of the Center for Distance Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. AR SAVES was instrumental in moving the state down to sixth place in stroke deaths nationally in 2016. "We are one of the few, if not the only, U.S. hospitals that provides a statewide telemedicine application that crosses multiple hospital systems," says Tina Benton, director of the Center for Distance Health. "In a few weeks, we will be connected to 53 of the 80 hospitals in the state of Arkansas." "When the program started, there were only three vascular neurologists in the entire state," adds Renee Joiner, director of AR SAVES. "We connected only 10 hospitals in the first year, but we grew it from there. We identified and trained at each hospital a dedicated telestroke coordinator (nurse facilitator), ER physicians and nurses, and even floor nurses." Before the program, fewer than 1 percent of stroke patients statewide received the declotting drug Alteplase (TPA). "We've gone to 33 percent of the patients in those 53 hospitals who qualified for the program to receive TPA," says Roy Kitchen, network director for Arkansas e-Link and a member of the AR SAVES team. . "We share a fiber ring with several other health and telehealth programs throughout the Arkansas hospital systems, including a huge trauma care program," says Benton. "If there was a big explosion near one of the hospitals, that's where patients could be triaged and treated in consultation with specialists at other hospitals via telemedicine. ere are only 16 burn injury beds in Arkansas, so they use telemedicine to triage these injuries." THROWING A WIDE NET "Continuum of care" describes a comprehensive integration of multiple health care providers that spans all levels and intensities of care. is integration gives physicians a wider range of choices and solutions. A continuum of care reduces costs, improves outcomes and increases patient satisfaction. A health care hub with its triple play can strengthen and expand the continuum of care. e hub can link to Hypothetical anchor- centered fiber layout

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