A South Carolina native embarks on a journey to improve rural healthcare in her home state 

A conversation with healthcare account executive Abbey Plexico

11/25/2019

For Spectrum Enterprise Account Executive Abbey Plexico, the healthcare challenges faced in rural areas hit close to home. A rural South Carolina native, Abbey knows firsthand how difficult it can be to obtain quality care when providers are scarce and don’t always have the technology available to deliver the services that ensure the best possible outcomes.

We had the opportunity recently to speak with Abbey about her work in South Carolina, and about how Spectrum Enterprise is helping rural healthcare organizations provide not only higher quality care—but also a better patient experience.

What drives you every day?

South Carolina is my home. I have small children who’ve been to the NICU and family members with health issues, so I’ve experienced some of the challenges associated with trying to obtain care in rural areas. That’s been a huge driver for me—I’m determined to connect rural facilities with organizations that have more resources so patients in remote areas can receive the same quality of care as patients in more populated areas without traveling hours to see a doctor.​ In addition to improving care, staying local for doctor appointments really enhances their experience.

What are some of the biggest challenges rural healthcare organizations struggle with today, and how does Spectrum Enterprise help address them?

Staffing is a huge challenge. Rural healthcare institutions struggle with finding staff to fill open positions, retaining good staff and securing the funding to hire staff. In a rural area, there might be one to two radiologists supporting 15 to 20 locations, and they just can’t handle the volume.

Spectrum Enterprise helps with this by providing fiber connectivity that enables rural healthcare organizations to use remote experts and staff. With this connectivity, remote radiologists, for example, can read X-rays that have been securely transmitted from a hospital that might be miles away.

Getting the funds to support new technologies that improve patient care is also a big struggle for rural institutions. Spectrum Enterprise is an authorized service provider for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Rural Health Care Program, and partners with healthcare providers to get the funding needed to cover technology costs.

A great patient experience can improve outcomes. Can you name an example of how you have helped there?

College football is huge here. People are committed to watching their teams—even when they’re in the hospital. Last football season, two hospitals called me and said they needed the ACC Network TV channel “right now.” Patients were asking for it. Because we have an agreement with that channel, we were able to make it happen within a day. Both the hospital and the patients were thrilled.

   Connect with our experts.

Learn about what other factors are driving the need for fiber connectivity within rural healthcare institutions.

Posted by:
Cliff Dinwiddie
Sr. Director, Vertical Programs

Cliff brings 25 years of increasingly impactful technology leadership experience to his role as Sr. Director, Vertical Programs, at Spectrum Enterprise. He is responsible for strategic program management supporting Federal, State & Local Government, K-12 & Higher Education, Healthcare, and Hospitality verticals.

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