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Telebariatric Services

Telebariatric services were launched at Cherokee Indian Hospital in February 2014. The program offers patient-centered care by providing a variety of education and support options that are customized to meet the personal goals of patients desiring surgical treatment for obesity.

The program allows for a nutritionist and a licensed psychologist specializing in obesity, located at Mission Hospital, to regularly meet with patients at their own local hospital as they move through the continuum of bariatric care. The care providers meet with patients through a large 42-inch, two-way video screen that provides an excellent patient experience and simulates the provider’s full-size presence in the room. The care providers can control both cameras to point to props, share education and jointly create meal plans. In addition, a bariatric telemedicine scale directly submits patient weight measures into the EMR. Other factors such as food and exercise diaries to capture diet, lifestyle and behavior are also transmitted to the hub site provider.

Patients who are on the pathway for surgical treatment must attend several sessions with the weight-management team both prior to and after surgery. Travel can be particularly burdensome for obese patients, and their families often must drive them to appointments. Through this services offering, patients could attend many of these visits in their own community through telemedicine, without the need to travel significant distances. It is anticipated that, with easier access to the weight-management team, patients will more likely complete all of their visits with the team (and possibly complete the visits faster), and will therefore be more likely complete surgical treatment successfully.

In Cherokee, Telebariatrics visits with the Mission Weight Management Nutritionist are facilitated by the patients’ regular primary care nutritionist. This collaborative care model allows care providers to meet together with patients to develop care plans as a team and ensures maximum success for the patients.

Locations

Burke County
Mission My Care Specialty
149 West Parker Road
Morganton, NC 28655

Swain County
Cherokee Indian Hospital
188 Hospital Road, C268
Cherokee, NC 28719

Spruce Pine
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital
125 Hospital Drive
Spruce Pine, NC 28777