St. George Medical Clinic Receives Federal Funding, Upgrades Network with High-Speed Fiber Optic Connectivity

 

Network Improvements Provided by TeleQuality Accelerate Primary Care Services Delivery

PARSONS, West Virginia (Nov. 11, 2015) — St. George Medical Clinic, in partnership with TeleQuality Communications and with financial assistance provided by the Universal Service Fund (USF), has completed a major upgrade to the clinic’s connectivity by installing fiber optic cables to increase their remote broadband speeds nearly fifteen times, allowing accelerated primary care services delivery to patients in Parsons, WV.

“Our rural West Virginian patients count on St. George Medical Clinic to provide the best in primary patient care; therefore, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the quality of our care by embracing emerging technologies,” said St. George CEO and Executive Director Paul Wamsley. “This fiber optic upgrade will tremendously improve our ability to provide reliable, effective healthcare to our community by freeing up more time for our healthcare providers to spend with patients.”

Leadership at St. George started noticing over a year ago how their broadband speeds were affecting access to the electronic health records (EHR) system, implementation of a new online patient portal and sometimes even burdening administrative operations such as email and basic Internet access. With a DSL network delivering only 3Mb upload speed and 1Mb download during top performance times, St. George knew it was time to upgrade their bandwidth capacity and speed.

But St. George’s existing telecom infrastructure did not have the capacity to expand into higher bandwidth options, and when their incumbent telecom carrier refused to explore critical options such as fiber optics, TeleQuality Communications stepped up to the challenge.

“Our mission at TeleQuality is to help our healthcare partner deliver the best health care they can to the community they serve,” said TeleQuality Communications CEO Tim Koxlien, “and if that means building out fiber optic cable to the furthest distances for our healthcare partners, we will do it.”

Working with Atlantic Broadband, TeleQuality was able to deliver a 45 Mb Ethernet dedicated internet access (DIA) network over fiber that will alleviate St. George’s speed problems while giving them the foundation for future upgrades when necessary.

“With the advancement of data-driven healthcare solutions such as patient portals and transmission of large medical imaging files, investment in a robust telecommunications network is critical for any 21st century healthcare provider,” Koxlien said. “Upgrading to fiber will not only increase St. George’s healthcare delivery today, it sets up the groundwork and ability for St. George to expand into even more advanced healthcare telecom and IT services such as telehealth in the future.”

While fiber optic installations can be extremely expensive especially in rural settings, St. George has received financial assistance for telecom services through the USF’s Rural Healthcare Program. With a $400 million annual funding cap, the program helps rural healthcare providers afford connectivity upgrades by funding a portion of their monthly telecom expenses. With the help of TeleQuality’s funding assistance experts and contingent upon St. George’s filing paperwork every year, they will be able to receive over $12,000 in funding every month for telecom service expenses allowing them to save approximately $437,000 over the course of three years.

“The funding assistance available through the Universal Service Fund was integral to our fiber upgrade’s success,” Wamsley said. “The financial savings through the USF along with TeleQuality’s commitment to delivering fiber allowed us to reach connectivity goals we had not dreamed of.”

Koxlien said that St. George Medical Clinic’s challenges are common in rural America, but funding is available for eligible entities.  “Rural health care providers often struggle to afford bandwidth speed necessary to reap the benefits of emerging technologies,” he said, “but funding through the USF and other sources can make fiber upgrades to even the remotest healthcare providers a reality.”

For more information on the USF’s Rural Healthcare Program, visit www.usac.org.

About St. George Medical Clinic

St. George Medical Clinic is a dedicated non-profit, primary care organization located in Parsons, WV, providing a full range of primary care services to patients in Tucker County and surrounding counties in West Virginia. Working in partnerships with individuals, families and community organizations to maintain and restore health and prevent disease, St. George Medical Clinic believes in the importance of community-controlled primary care that is accessible to patients and responsive to their need. For more information, visit www.stgeorgeclinic.org.

About TeleQuality Communications, Inc. (TQCI)

TeleQuality Communications, Inc. (TQCI) and its subsidiary, Rural Health Telecom (RHT), are based in San Antonio, TX. Founded in 2006, TQCI focuses exclusively on supplying quality telecommunications products and services to health care providers throughout America. TQCI has made Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies four times in the past five years. For more information, please visit www.telequality.com.

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