The University of New Mexico’s ACCESS Telemedicine launched in 2014. Since then, half the state’s hospitals have joined our network. By making specialty care more accessible to residents, we’re helping to address health inequities and deliver quality care to more people in our communities.
During the program’s first few years, nearly 4,000 patients received specialist telestroke and other neurology consultations. With each partner hospital, we are expanding the quality and value of neuro-emergent care. Read about our ACCESS telemedicine results through telemedicine success stories.
ACCESS Telemedicine Results
UNM ACCESS Telemedicine helps New Mexicans receive quick, convenient neurology consultations. UNM ACCESS Telemedicine’s neuro-emergent care delivers:
- On-demand consultation: The program averages 215 neuro-emergent consults per month.
- High levels of participation: Of patients and families offered the option of an ACCESS Telemedicine consultation, 95 percent accept.
- Provider education: UNM ACCESS Telemedicine delivers more than 600 hours of education and training every year for providers at partner hospitals. We also offer an annual ACCESS and Telemedicine Conference and frequent access to grand rounds at UNM Hospital. With more knowledge about neurological conditions, physicians and nurses are better equipped to care for patients locally.
- Cost savings: The program saves an estimated $24 million annually in patient transport expenses.
How Hospitals Gain From Offering Neuro-Emergent Telehealth
Most New Mexico hospitals do not have a neurologist or neurosurgeon on staff. We help make it possible for local hospitals to provide high-quality care close to home.
Before UNM ACCESS Telemedicine was available, virtually every patient evaluated for a neurological emergency in New Mexico was transferred to UNM Hospital, the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. We offer neurological expertise that’s unmatched in the state. Learn more about UNM: neuro-emergent care leaders.
Today, our neurology and neurosurgery telehealth evaluations have reduced the number of neurological transfers from our partner hospitals by 70 percent. Positive outcomes of “right-sized” neurological care include:
- Appropriate care: A specialist consultation gives patients and families answers. People can know right away whether their headache is from a mild concussion or an issue requiring surgery, for example.
- Reduced costs: Air transfer to UNM costs more than $38,000 per transport. UNM ACCESS Telemedicine has avoided an estimated $86.5 million in transport costs.
- Patient support: By staying local, patients have their family and community nearby.
- Retained revenues: When hospitals keep their local patients, reimbursements for patient care also remain in the local community. Our partner hospitals have earned more than $18 million in retained Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) dollars.
- Improved care statewide: As the state’s only Level 1 trauma center, UNM Hospital is regularly over capacity. Avoiding unnecessary transfers frees up hospital beds at UNM for patients who require Level 1 care. That relief means less waiting for patients who need tertiary referral center care. It also means those patients are less likely to be transferred to an out-of-state care facility due to capacity issues.