Source: The Richmond Observer
Written by McLeod Health
FLORENCE, S.C. — The McLeod Health Foundation has received two grants from The Duke Endowment totaling $1,225,000 to provide home-based primary care to patients in rural communities through nurse-facilitated telehealth as well as expand school-based telehealth programs in five rural counties in South Carolina.
These grants support the mission of McLeod Health, which is to improve the overall health and well-being of people living within South Carolina and eastern North Carolina by providing excellence in health care.
Home-Based Primary Care Through Nurse-Facilitated Telehealth
The McLeod Health Foundation has received $525,000 from The Duke Endowment to provide home-based primary care to patients in rural communities through nurse-facilitated telehealth.
Chesterfield, Marlboro, Clarendon and Williamsburg County residents face significant barriers to accessing primary care. Seventy-five percent of people in the four-county area live in rural environments, while 25 percent live in poverty. Many patients are forced to travel long distances, often without reliable transportation.
In addition, these areas suffer from some of the state’s poorest health outcomes. Rates of avoidable hospitalizations across the four counties are 29 percent higher than statewide rates. Of 8,349 patients across McLeod Family Medicine sites in Cheraw (Chesterfield County) and Manning (Clarendon County), 19 percent have diabetes and 58 percent have hypertension. Patients also face difficulty accessing care, as evidenced by the practices’ missed appointment rates. This in turn leads to downstream health problems.
Regular monitoring of hypertensive and diabetic patients is especially crucial. Yet, across the Cheraw and Manning Family Medicine practices, more than one in 10 diabetic patients do not receive adequate A1c monitoring. Likewise, many hypertensive patients are not having their blood pressure monitored adequately — 37 percent have not received a documented blood pressure check within the last six months.
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