In Jordan, people in rural communities often lack convenient, affordable access to healthcare specialists.
They must often leave family and familiar surroundings to travel long distances to urban medical facilities. They may wait in long lines for a brief consultation with a specialist in a common exam room. Many cannot make the journey at all due to cost or personal circumstances. Missed and cancelled appointments and miscommunication can undermine the quality of care at every point of the healthcare connection.
Connecting specialists and rural patients without the burden of travel is a priority for the Jordanian government; it reflects His Majesty King Abdullah II’s vision to transform Jordan’s healthcare delivery system.
Cisco collaborated with the Jordan Ministries of Health and ICT to establish the Jordan Healthcare Initiative, which uses care-at-a-distance technology to connect rural patients at two governmental hospitals with specialists at urban Prince Hamzah Hospital in Amman.
At Cisco HealthPresence clinics at Al-Mafraq and Queen Rania Governmental Hospitals, patients see and speak to specialists in Amman as if they are face to face. Network-connected medical devices—thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, multipurpose scopes, stethoscopes, and handheld cameras—route patient information from the Cisco HealthPresence clinics to specialists at Prince Hamzah Hospital (PHH).
The clinic is staffed by a licensed healthcare professional who assists the PHH specialist with the patient examination. A private, dedicated environment puts patients at ease and allows doctors to focus on listening to the patient in their care.
The Jordan Healthcare Initiative is extending the reach of providers, increasing patient access to quality healthcare, and improving communication and follow-up care.
In its first 18 months, the Cisco HealthPresence clinic at Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital enabled 444 consultations, at least 13 percent of them for children. The HealthPresence clinic at Queen Rania Governmental Hospital went live in September 2012 and through December 2012 had enabled 196 remote consultations, 36 percent of which were for children.
Patients report that specialty consultations are having a positive impact on their lives. When given the option of travel to Amman or a scheduled specialist consultation at the Cisco HealthPresence clinic in their community, patients increasingly choose the local approach to expert healthcare.
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