Telehealth Brings Comfort and “Peace of Mind” to Family in Johnsonville, SC

By M. Ziehe

Jacob's favorite football team

Kim Coker, a native of Johnsonville, S.C., recalls the numerous times she had to take her son Jacob to the psychiatrist in Charleston, S.C. A one-way travel time of about two hours and a half to Charleston was tough. The time spent traveling was not the only issue. Her son Jacob, a 15-year-old boy, has autism and Fragile X Syndrome. Jacob finds sudden loud noises unpleasant, which is a symptom of his condition. The whirl and turmoil of a big city, such as Charleston, was not favorable or ideal for his treatment.

S.C. Emergency Departments Tap Into Tele-Psychiatry for Mental Health Treatment

By M. Ziehe

Patient in the emergency room having a tele-psychiatry consultation (simulation)

South Carolina was deeply impacted by mental health budget cuts in recent years. Patients seeking mental health treatment would have to wait long hours in hospital emergency departments (EDs) for psychiatric exams. Many hospitals, especially in rural locations, did not have a psychiatrist on staff and were not prepared to care for patients with mental health conditions.

Tele-Stroke and Teamwork Go Hand-in-Hand

By M. Ziehe

Dr. Metha providing telehealth.

A stroke is a "brain attack." It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. It can happen to anyone at any time. In South Carolina, thousands of people die from stroke every year. The problem is aggravated by the fact that many hospitals, especially in rural areas of South Carolina, do not have a neurologist on staff. In order to increase access to quality stroke care, the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance works with hospitals across the state to implement tele-stroke equipment.

Behind the Scenes of a 'My Telehealth' Video Production

By T. Safdi

Producers film story of patient in school

Something familiar catches my eye on the right side of the road. In these early morning travels through rural South Carolina, there's something exciting about seeing fields of hay, corn, and other green things unidentifiable through the car window. Almost two hours from SCETV headquarters in Columbia, the 'My Telehealth' video production team pulls up to Hemingway Elementary School. The school is just one of 29 other schools in South Carolina that offer students school-based telehealth through the school nurse's office.

Tele-psychiatry Helps Provide Emergency Mental Health Consultation

By M. Ziehe

Dr. Ratliff interacts with patient during a tele-psych consultation (simulation)

“Hello, I’m Dr. Ratliff, can you tell me your name please?”

The psychiatrist Brenda Ratliff asks on a computer screen.

Sitting in her office, in Aiken, S.C., Dr. Ratliff asks questions and listens carefully to the patient's feelings and needs via a video link. At the other end of the feed is a patient sitting in a private room, which is located at one of the emergency departments in S.C. that provides tele-psychiatry consultations.

Telehealth Increases Access to Care in South Carolina

By M. Ziehe and T. Crouch

Doctor working with patient

Due to combined efforts, South Carolina is now on the edge of a new frontier in health care. Telehealth offers new ways of delivering care through the use of video and audio technologies. 

The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance, a collaboration of academic medical centers, community hospitals and providers, existing telemedicine systems, government leaders, and other entities believes that all South Carolina residents should and can have access to quality health care.


Medical Trainees Use Telehealth in Psychiatry Residency

By T. Crouch

Residents demonstrate how they use telehealth in their medical training.

“In psychiatry, there’s that big part, what we call the therapeutic alliance, being able to interact with the patient, being able to make the patient feel comfortable, make that eye contact,” says Isabella Adjinah, a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.