Category:Radio Medical Traffic (RMT)
Radio medical traffic (RMT) is the most difficult clinical challenge that providers face in their jobs at YKHC. There are 50 villages/Subregional Clinics (SRCs) in the region staffed with Community Health Aides (CHAs) of varying degrees of training, limited formularies and supplies and weather and other challenges that make getting concerning patients into Bethel difficult. The SRC’s will often, but not always, have a NP/PA provider available to help assess and manage patients, and the SRC formulary and supplies are more expanded but still very limited. Often patients will have to be managed for long periods of time creatively in the village with the CHA’s and midlevels while awaiting an opportunity to get a patient in if the weather is down, there are no runway lights, the medevac team is tied up or timed out ....
Routine RMT evaluation, follow up, treatment, referrals, etc., is a challenge with this kind of distance delivery. It is a high risk interaction. You are managing the patient secondhand and depending on vitals, CHA exams and history. You will often be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of RMT and other clinical demands on your time. Be sure to not rush too much. Pay attention and address any ‘red flags’ in the patient history and exam. Take the time to look at the problem and medication lists when indicated (i.e., a patient with a chronic condition that requires daily meds but isn’t taking them or needs a f/u in Bethel; a patient with recurrent OM that was treated less than a month ago with Amoxicillin and therefore needs to now have Augmentin, etc.).
Villages are small communities. Often the patient that a CHA is caring for is a relative, friend or well known to them. This can place them in a difficult position socially and professionally. It adds a tremendous amount of stress to their job. It may be difficult for a CHA to make an OCS report (child protective services), resuscitate a loved one, and remain objective in evaluating some patients. RMT providers must remain sensitive to this challenge and assist the CHAs in any way possible.
Orientation for RMT will extend through your entire tenure at YKHC because there are so many different scenarios and new challenges that arise even daily. Work with others to figure out how best to manage RMT patients and don’t hesitate to ask for help repeatedly until you get more comfortable with different scenarios. It is better to ask and learn (remembering there is often more than one way to handle a particular situation).
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Outpatient RMT Introduction
In the villages, patients are taken care of mostly by Health Aides (HAs) who consult with their assigned outpatient providers when patient care falls outside of their standing orders or expertise. These communications are called RMT’s (Radio Medical Traffic).
RMT’s are sent in by Health Aides through PowerChart/FirstNet where they come into message centers under the Proxies Tab as panels (i.e., Chronic Peds, Emergency, Kusko or Yukon). These proxies are set up for providers by IT, usually as part of the initial onboarding process.
At any given time there are assigned providers (some internal at YKHC and some remote providers) for each panel who will review the cases submitted and either discuss the care plan with the Health Aide via telephone, or send back the form with assessment/instructions. They will read the encounter, review orders from the appropriate power plan, modify the orders as needed, submit an addendum to the encounter with their plan, and send it back to the Health Aides.
Emergency cases who need Medevac or immediate attention to Bethel, are called in to the on-call Ward Docs in North Wing and sent to the Emergency Proxy panel.