INTEGRIS Health has brought the movie “The King’s Speech” into the virtual era.
For anyone who hasn’t seen it, “The King’s Speech” follows the true story of English monarch George IV (Queen Elizabeth’s father) as he struggles to overcome a severe stutter through speech therapy.
George had an entire country’s wealth at his disposal, though. He could afford the most cutting-edge speech treatments of his day, but most people—even in today’s world— don’t have that luxury.
That’s why for the last 15 years INTEGRIS Health has utilized the latest two-way interactive telecommunications technology to enable students across Oklahoma to remediate articulation, language and communication disorders.
INTEGRIS Health’s eHealth Speech Telepractice program provides clinical services to more than 250 students in nine school districts across Oklahoma.
Children attend Speech Telepractice sessions individually or in small groups at their schools. A chaperone is on-site to facilitate interaction and monitor the connection. INTEGRIS speech-language pathologists carefully observe the children’s progress and conduct parent-teacher teleconferences as well.
“After completing more than 9,000 teletherapy sessions last year, 85 percent of students showed a significant, measurable increase in their speech and language abilities,” said Lori Short, eHealth Lead Speech-Language Pathologist. “This level of success is equal to conventional in-person treatments.”
Speech Telepractice significantly reduced travel time and expense for one family in Alva, Okla., who was driving weekly to the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center in Oklahoma City. The family’s third-grader has been diagnosed with a profound childhood speech impediment. The Speech Telepractice program enabled the 9-year-old to greatly improve his oral motor function.
Although he participates in a regular classroom environment, he must have accommodations because he is nonverbal. Prior to treatment, he drooled frequently because of his poor oral motor control.
INTEGRIS implemented weekly speech teletherapy treatments for him at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva. As a result, his lingual skills, jaw support and oral motor functions all increased significantly.
Most importantly, his drooling was greatly reduced to almost nonexistent. He continues weekly therapy sessions and is making excellent progress toward all of his goals.
This is just one of numerous success stories of students who not only benefit from top-notch therapy but also receive the financial benefits of eliminating costly travel for their families. Due to decreased travel costs, teletherapy is incredibly cost-efficient compared to traditional methods.
More importantly, it’s able to impact the lives of students who wouldn’t normally have access to such therapy without the might of the digital age.
INTEGRIS’ push to utilize technology to bring cutting-edge treatments to patients who wouldn’t have access otherwise is driven by OneNet.
Since 1999, OneNet has proudly partnered with INTEGRIS, Oklahoma’s largest healthcare system, to help it improve the health of the people and communities it serves.
Programs like Speech Telepractice are powered by the affordable 200 megabit per second (Mbps) connection OneNet provides the healthcare provider.
Yet OneNet’s relationship with INTEGRIS goes beyond just being an Internet service provider. OneNet strives to ensure INTEGRIS achieves its objective with dependable customer support.
“OneNet is easy to work with,” eHealth Technology Specialist Nathaniel Draper said. “They troubleshoot packet loss between our video conferencing connections to improve the quality of service between INTEGRIS and the public schools.”
Ensuring quality service and support for the Speech Telepractice program is just one way OneNet invests in the success of students with disabilities across this state. In addition to INTEGRIS, OneNet also provides broadband to four out of the 11 schools that receive services through teletherapy.
“The Speech Telepractice program embodies OneNet’s mission to advance technology across the state,” OneNet Executive Director Vonley Royal said. “When we can empower clients like INTEGRIS to use technology in a way that uplifts the people of Oklahoma, we have accomplished our mission.”
For more information about INTEGRIS’ Speech Telepractice program, please contact Lori Short at 405-949-3395 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Micah Parnell, Spring 2015 Outreach Intern