CASE STUDY

FreeState Direct Expands Telehealth to Rural Communities

Since partnering with Ambra, FreeState has gone from 17 different platforms to Ambra Suite’s all encompassing solution.

Summary

FreeState Direct Expands Telehealth to Rural CommunitiesFreeState was founded by a group of doctors to provide modern communication technology to both rural hospitals and providers to offer their patients local access to care that once required a long trip to a major city. Challenges arose surrounding the clunky and out-of-date telemedicine tools currently available on the market.

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Reduced Number of Systems

Running a rural telemedicine–based business isn’t easy. Although the Affordable Care Act has promoted the expansion of care to rural regions, many insurers remain hesitant to pay for care that is done outside of the traditional hospital setting.

“Insurers look at telemedicine from a view that is 5-6 years old.”
– Dr. Elisha Yaghmai, MD, MPH&TM, FreeState Direct

As a telemedicine trailblazer in the changing world of rural healthcare, dealing with messy technology and disparate systems was the last thing Dr. Yaghmai needed. Prior to Ambra, Dr. Yaghmai felt frustrated by the numerous systems he needed to run his business. He was paying over $60,000 per year for this error prone system, which he described as efficient as a, “Coat Hanger in the ER.”

Since partnering with Ambra, only one solution is needed. Ambra suite allows for rapid and efficient exchange among care providers, mobile viewing capabilities from anywhere and anytime, and seamless access to data within EHR and RIS systems.

Cloud Delivery & Integrations

Dr. Yaghmai initially planned to use local hospitals’ EMRs to exchange and view medical imaging, however, he quickly discovered that some didn’t have EMRs, some were difficult to use, most were not image enabled, and many do not have remote log-ins. The flexibility of cloud architecture makes it easy to bridge the gaps between the technologies that are already in use at organizations. A few widely adopted examples include connecting DICOM devices using a gateway. A gateway allows you to seamlessly move studies between both modalities and viewers within the walls of your facility and beyond. Vigilias has installed over 14 image gateways at local hospitals.

Another example is to pull reports from your RIS and update PHI or send messages to your EMR using an HL7 feed. By generating contextual imaging links and embedding them into the patient record, doctors can view studies directly from the EMR/EHR.

“Telemedicine seems to be the new frontier for innovation, quality, and distribution of healthcare.”
– Dr. Elisha Yaghmai, MD, MPH&TM, FreeState Direct

Patient Friendly

A core component of telemedicine is to place the patient first. As Dr. Yaghmai says, “Patients should be the owners of their health information, not healthcare institutions.” As a result, Vigilias is working with Ambra to develop an easy to use patient portal, accessible from their website. Patients can access their accounts at anytime to view and share their images.