Franklin County chronic care patients to benefit from new project

Published 6:00 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

Two hundred eligible chronic care patients at Franklin County Hospital Family Medical Group clinics located in Meadville and Bude will soon be receiving some extra help with their care. The help will come in the form of an iPad and related Bluetooth devices.

In December 2020, Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems-Extension (CAVS-E) launched a new healthcare initiative in the Mississippi Delta with $803,058 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

The funding was used to establish the Delta BroadReach Healthcare project, which provides services and programs to help keep patients closer to home, improve the hospital’s operating margins, improve care coordination, and improve the overall operations and processes of healthcare facilities in the region. MSU’s partners on the project include Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Hinds Community College and North Central Planning and Development District, forming the Delta Regional Community Healthcare Consortium.

The Workforce Division at Copiah-Lincoln Community College has executed it’s part of the project by utilizing the funds to purchase telehealth equipment and devices, to train healthcare professionals, and will soon train patients in the service area on the usage of these telehealth services. Specifically, 200 chronic patients within the Franklin County Memorial Hospital Clinic System will be outfitted with a Bluetooth toolkit that includes an Apple iPad Tablet, Bluetooth Infrared Forehead Non-Touch Thermometer, Bluetooth Pulse Oximeter, Bluetooth Wrist Style BP Monitor, Bluetooth Smart Gluco-Monitoring Bundle, and a Bluetooth Body Composition Scale.

The benefits of this initiative are three-fold. First, Bluetooth devices provide technological innovation in the critical area of healthcare to people that would not otherwise be able to afford it. Secondly, every routine check-up attended via a telehealth clinic visit from home decreases the potential for vulnerable patients to be exposed to illnesses. Finally, these tools allow patients to check routine vitals and safely upload the data into a medical chart through telehealth e-connectivity without leaving home.

“This grant opportunity for chronic care patients in our rural community via e-connectivity is a game changer and the patients will be able to manage daily vitals from home without having to go to the clinic each week for a check-in,” said Workforce Center Director Stephenie Sullivan. “Franklin County is a special place and it is my joy as a resident and a representative of Copiah-Lincoln Community College to help implement this grant.”

CAVS-E Project Manager John Moore is the principal investigator on the grant, with Lean Healthcare Deployment Coordinator Susan Moore and Project Coordinator Debbie Miller serving as co-principal investigators. The project builds on CAVS-E’s “lean hospitals” program that helps healthcare providers improve the quality of care for patients by reducing errors and wait times, as well as the center’s healthcare systems process improvement training, which has been administered to over 600 healthcare employees in the state.

For more on CAVS-Extension, visit www.cavse.msstate.edu.