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Greene County Health Care Receives Patient Care Services Award

Greene County Health Care (GCHC) recently received honorable mention for a remote patient monitoring program to improve access to care and patients’ health during COVID-19.

The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) selected Greene County Health Care’s program as this year’s honorable mention recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award at the 10th Annual MATRC Summit.

MATRC provides technical assistance and other resources to increase the use of telehealth as a way to increase access to care and improve patient outcomes. The award recognizes telehealth programs and projects that break down barriers in accessing quality care and address unmet needs that lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life.

GCHC received an $890,970 one-year grant from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in June 2020. The FCC’s goal with the grant was to increase access to care during the pandemic, decrease the spread of COVID-19 and decrease patient anxiety. GCHC staff initially identified 340 patients who were at risk for COVID-19 complications due to chronic health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

“Our only goal as a community health center is to improve our patients’ health in order to improve their quality of life,” says CEO Doug Smith. “Part of that process is ensuring our patients get regular care for chronic illness. COVID-19 just swept in on all of us, and suddenly we had to shift our focus.

“We needed to keep well people out of the clinics to care for the increasing number of people sick with COVID,” Smith says. “We knew our chronically ill patients would suffer physically and emotionally without their regular check-ups with their providers.”

Moving quickly was important, Smith says. Health care providers were dealing with an influx of sick patients and staffing shortages due to employees getting sick as well.

The best way to resolve that issue was to partner with a local organization to administer the program. So, GCHC contracted with Reconnect4Health, a nurse-owned remote care monitoring company, to design and oversee a turn-key remote patient monitoring program.

“We partnered with one of our device vendors, Connect America, to implement a ‘boots on the ground’ installation model that enabled us to implement the program we designed within 30 days, said Bonnie Britton, CEO, Reconnect4Health. “We have successfully helped over 400 high-risk patients with chronic conditions receive greater access to care as well as improved outcomes during this pandemic,” Britton said.

Greene County Health Care (GCHC) is a community health center with sites in Greene, Pitt and Pamlico counties. GCHC offers the entire community medical, dental and mental health care, and virtual visits.

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