Skip to content Skip to navigation

Memorial Health Care Systems, Bryan Health Partner on Virtual Care for Rural Nebraska Patients

August 24, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Memorial Health Care Systems (MHCS) has partnered with Lincoln, Neb.-based Bryan Health to launch Memorial eVisit, a virtual care platform to provide healthcare services to rural Nebraska patients.

According to a press release, it is the first virtual care offering by a Nebraska rural critical access hospital. The virtual care offering, Memorial eVisit, is supported by Bryan Telemedicine, and uses a cloud-based virtual care software platfrom from health IT company Zipnosis.

MHCS is comprised of a critical access hospital in rural Seward, Nebraska as well as three primary care clinics and retail pharmacy. Bryan Health is a locally owned and governed healthcare organization that operates two acute care facilities, several outpatient clinics, a College of Health Sciences as well as a physician network and a heart institute.

The virtual care solution enables patients in rural Seward County, Nebraska to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan from a board certified Nebraska doctor. Memorial eVisit utilizes the virtual care services of Bryan Telemedicine and its staff of Nebraska board certified physicians. Bryan Telemedicine physicians will staff the new service, reviewing patient information and making diagnoses.  

"With Memorial eVisit, the communities we serve can get the care they need, even when our clinics are closed," Joel Gabriel, M.D., chief of staff at MHCS, said in a prepared statement.

Roger Reamer, CEO of MHCS, said in a statement, “We recognized the demand for a virtual care option to meet the needs of the diverse patient population we serve in Seward County.”

Andy Whitney, director of Bryan Telemedicine Services, said MHCS is the first of several rural hospitals across Nebraska that the health system plans to partner with to provide virtual care services to people across Nebraska.

With Memorial eVisit, patients can use their smartphones, computers or tablets to complete a short online interview. A board-certified physician employed by Bryan Telemedicine then reviews the interview results and provides the diagnosis. Information about the diagnosis is sent to the patient via text or email. If a prescription is appropriate, Memorial eVisit enables the patient to send the prescription electronically to the pharmacy of their choice. If the doctor determines that the patient's symptoms require a face-to-face visit, the patient is provided information on how to schedule an appointment with a local provider at one of the three MHCS clinics, according to a press release.

"By launching Memorial eVisit, in partnership with Bryan Telemedicine, MHCS is improving access to quality clinical care and making it easier for patients and healthcare providers to connect online when mileage and distance are limiting factors," Jon Pearce, co-founder and CEO of Zipnosis, said in a statement.

According to Pearce, telemedicine has been challenged with affordable access in rural communities. “Previous solutions have involved expensive grants or investment in telecom infrastructure or video systems, he said.




Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.