Transformational leadership: Columbus’ Shane Fleming wins telemedicine award | Local


In 2014, Columbus native Shane Fleming and Dr. Brian Bossard, of Lincoln, were discussing remote options for hospitals, particularly those in rural areas.

“Really, the mission is essentially to provide services to hospitals so they can take care of more patients locally and patients don’t have to be transferred as frequently,” Fleming said.

The conversation began to hone in on rural hospitals, which more frequently need to send patients out to other facilities, and thus, lose patients. Losing patients means losing revenue and eventually staff, Fleming explained.

“As our rural hospitals are often the largest employers in our rural communities, if they close, it’s really devastating for the community and this is an option for them to stay healthy, vibrant, relevant and autonomous,” Fleming said.

Now, the partnership extends to 55 different service lines across 85 facilities in nine states, Fleming said, all from a headquarters in Lincoln and a home base for Fleming in Columbus.

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Bryan Telemedicine and Teledigm Health’s Director of Marketing and Analytics Andrew Whitney said the partnership between the two companies allowed for remote access to services rural hospitals otherwise would not have.

“What if there was a telemedicine hospitalist program where you can bring the doctor in on a cart, assess the patient, admit them and be available for questions or anything like that for local providers and keep patients local?” Whitney said. “That’s kind of how we started.”

Enter the Global Community Advancing Virtual Care Forum in late July. Fleming was presented the Teladoc Health Transformational Leadership award for his leadership of a team that transforms its community by way of virtual health, according to the forum’s website.

“The reason for the award goes back to an amazing team of individuals on our team at Teledigm Health and Bryan Telemedicine and the amazing work that they do every day to help move this forward and align with our missions,” Fleming said.

Fleming went on to say the award was humbling and shocking, and that the credit for the work done goes back to his team.

“They’re so passionate about trying to help out our rural communities so it’s really the team that brought this together,” Fleming said.

Whitney said Fleming’s incredible foresight is a key part of why he won the award.

The thing about Shane is that his vision is so far ahead that he’s always thinking about ‘what’s the next innovation we can do?'” Whitney said. “Shane’s been the key to be able to articulate to Teladoc that if we’re going to help save rural hospitals these are the kind of things we have to be doing.”

Whitney added that Fleming’s push for innovation and focus on rural hospitals has set him and the partnership apart from other telemedicine groups, and that qualifies him for the award as well.

“We’re just very different and I think his ability to articulate that message to Teladoc has made us both better companies and that, to me, is where he’s really deserving of that award,” Whitney said.


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