The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has announced that it has started providing telemedicine support to high-risk pregnant mothers in Oklahoma.
Physicians at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology will treat the maternal patients from OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. The OSU/ UAMS collaboration will allow consultations in real time between medical specialists, pregnant mothers and their physicians so they can receive needed healthcare near their homes. Medical professionals at OSU will be able to collaborate with UAMS medical specialists to co-manage patient care so they don’t have to refer patients to distant hospitals or clinics.
“Applying technology in a meaningful way is how we effect positive change in healthcare for everyone, especially pregnant mothers,” Curtis Lowery, M.D., director of the UAMS College of Medicine’s Center for Distance Health, said in a news release statement. “OSU Medical Center’s willingness to collaborate with us in providing that care and in improving access to care demonstrates that they share that forward-thinking vision of progress.”
The support follows the ANGELS telemedicine model developed and administered by UAMS Center for Distance Health, though it is not an extension of the ANGELS network. ANGELS (the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System) is a consultative service for a wide range of physicians including family practitioners, obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians in Arkansas. Through telemedicine and distance health tools, UAMS and ANGELS have delivered subspecialty care services to high-risk Arkansas mothers and their fragile infants for more than a decade.
“Disparities in healthcare continue to be a problem across America,” Joseph Johnson, chairman of OSU Health Sciences Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said. “Partnering with UAMS maternal-fetal medicine physicians is going to provide evidence-based, high-risk maternal care across state lines. It is our hope that this innovative partnership proves that you can reduce maternal/infant illness and death by having providers sharing in the complex nature of pregnancy management.”
OSU obstetricians and gynecologists for several years have taken part in regular interactive video teleconferences and webinars as part of professional distance learning and collaboration with UAMS physicians. The additional maternal-fetal medicine support plans to further deepen the existing relationship between the universities, officials said.