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Telemedicine allows Rural Providers to Participate in Conference in Record Numbers

June 15, 2011

The St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation's Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program (CGEP) 2nd Annual Conference Living Well with Chronic Illness: Imagining the Possibilities more than quadrupled last year's attendance by reaching more than 350 nurses from across Montana.

The two day conference was designed to update the knowledge and skills of nurses who care for older adults living with chronic illness, especially those living in rural and frontier communities. The conference took place at the Crowne Plaza in Billings; however because it was important to include care providers from all over the state, St. Vincent Healthcare collaborated with Partners in Health Telemedicine Network (PHTN) in order to make the conference available statewide. Because this technology was made available to participants from Butte, Bozeman, Ekalaka Glendive, Great falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Lewistown, Missoula, Malta and Plains were able to take part in this important educational opportunity.

Nearly 150 additional care providers were able to participate in the conference due to the broadcast over PHTN. Telemedicine technology allows St. Vincent Healthcare to provide access to specialty medical care and professional education, administrative and telebusiness services throughout the state of Montana and Northern Wyoming reducing travel and expense. Utilizing this technology in the clinical setting improves patients' health status by allowing patients to stay in their home communities while bringing specialty providers to them.