Kathleen Power, the Director of Technology for Outer Cape Health Services was hired 9 days before COVID shut down the United States and impacted healthcare operations like nothing ever experienced in the history of modern medicine.
In her new position, Kathleen inherited a wonderful, growing nonprofit health center that was beloved by the community. Unfortunately, the organization’s technology was not meeting its capacity needs. The aging technology system Kathleen inherited included a 20-year-old site-based domain controller and bad modem, making her introduction to the new position a baptism by fire. Luckily Outer Cape had hired the right woman for the job.
Kathleen came to Outer Cape from Sturgis Charter Schools, where she had been responsible for bringing OpenCape 100% Fiber Optic high-speed internet to the highly-acclaimed school’s 2 campuses and 5 properties in Hyannis. “I worked with OpenCape to launch the service as part of a pilot program, and it was outstanding – both the product itself and the service. In the 7 years that I was there after the installation, we never had another internet outage,” said Kathleen.
So naturally as part of her job to make the healthcare organization’s technology more stable and adaptable to moving backend systems and services to the cloud Kathleen brought the 100% Fiber Optic high speed internet to all 4 of Outer Cape’s locations, dramatically expanding bandwidth and its increasingly-important telehealth capacity.
According to Outer Cape Health Senior Development & Communications Officer, Gerry Desautels, “Telehealth is still a key component of our practice. We’ve noticed that it has been a particularly effective part of our behavioral healthcare service. There’s a much lower no-show rate now for behavioral healthcare visits.”
“COVID shined the light on the impact technology can have on telehealth. Expanding the connectivity for rural healthcare providers like Outer Cape Health Care allows them to serve more people in all areas of care, said Jenn Brann, Sr. Manager of Business Operations at OpenCape. The Rural Healthcare Connected Care pilot program (RHC) allowed them to quadruple their speeds,” she noted.
With 4 locations, 3 on the Outer Cape in Wellfleet and Provincetown and 1 including a pharmacy in Harwich Port on the Lower Cape, Outer Cape Health Services is a lifeline for many residents of Cape Cod. They are the only pharmacy and only medical provider located even moderately close by for residents in the towns of Truro, Wellfleet and Eastham. And their Provincetown Urgent Care is the furthest health center from any hospital in the Commonwealth (and also home to its server farm – with 63 servers now!) and those miles are often fraught with extreme New England weather. Kathleen is confident that the weather will not be a problem for internet outages now that OpenCape is on board.
“Partnering with OpenCape has improved our capacity to expand and move services to the cloud, including, but not limited to telephones, and our EHR (Electronic Health records),” said Kathleen.