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Patients

From Farm to Fork: Virtual conference to Address Food Systems and Public Health

Tucson’s recent designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy is a tribute to our long history of harvesting  plants native to the Sonoran desert and heritage plants brought over by the Spanish, as well as the innovation and local mindedness of our community, and the multitude of food system initiatives constantly striving to improve the food security of our diverse populations.

A food system consists of the entire process from which food moves from farm to fork, including production, processing, packing, distribution, consumption, and food waste management. A healthy, sustainable food system is directly connected to public health goals like reducing hunger and obesity, protection and conservation of natural resources, and facilitating economic growth.

Telemental Health Services vs. Traveling for Treatment: What’s Right for You?

“Should I stay or should I go?” So go the lyrics from the English punk rock band, The Clash, in a song about one couple’s dilemma over whether to stay together or break up.

The same question might just as well apply to another dilemma—this one pertaining to people considering treatment for substance abuse. At a time when telemedicine is revolutionizing mental health services, bringing talk therapy into the home via online videoconferencing and other mobile technologies, is it better to travel for treatment or stay put?

What Powers Telehealth? Women!!

Charlotte Yeh, MD moderating with panelists Paula Guy, Julie Hall-Barrow, EdD, Susan Dentzer, Kristi Hendersen, DNP, NP-BC, FAEN

We all know that telehealth is driven by the desire to make affordable healthcare available to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and that advances in technology have facilitated the effort. But what powers telehealth and even healthcare general? At the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Meeting (April 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, FL) the answer was clear – women!

Is There a Future in Telemedicine for Small Practices

The year is 2030 and the days of small practices are coming to a tragic end, as the virtual capabilities of large and innovative health systems have become integrated into the lives of patients worldwide. Patient monitoring is constant, blending into the lifestyles of patients who have grown accustom to an emerging world of integrated healthcare in consumer technology. Healthcare has finally reached the golden age of patient empowerment and engagement in no small part due to telemedicine.

Telemedicine & Informed Consent: How Informed Are You?

It used to be (back in the old days) that “doing” telemedicine (TM) was so new and foreign to everyone that it was considered research, and thus required—at most institutions—human subjects or Internal Review Board (IRB) approval. Patients had to be consented into a study prior to engaging in any sort of telemedicine encounter.

Thankfully, for the most part, those days are gone. While some institutions may still require IRB consent, that number has decreased significantly. Of course, if you are conducting a scientific experiment using a new telemedicine device or some new procedure, that study will have to go through the usual IRB approvals and involved patients will need to be consented.

At Phoenix VA, Telemedicine Averts Fatality for LVAD Patient

Gerald Hornbeck is a 73-year-old Veteran who lives with his wife in Gilbert, Arizona, approximately 40 miles from the Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System (PVAHCS).

In 2012, after being diagnosed with end-stage heart failure, he was implanted with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) at the University of Utah Medical Center. Since then, the LVAD has taken over the task of pumping blood to the rest of his body.

The Effects of Telemedicine on the Patient-Provider Relationship

The patient-provider relationship is a sacred bond that has existed since the dawn of healthcare. The trust and responsibility placed on the provider by the patient to heal and act with their best interest in mind remains at the core of this relationship even in the modern age of healthcare.

What Telemedicine Needs To Do To Make It Mainstream In Rural America

Rural healthcare is suffering, but many communities have yet to swallow the medicine that could make a difference: telemedicine.

Several vectors have led to what the National Rural Health Association estimates is more than 50 rural hospital closures over the past five years, with 12 already closing in 2016 so far. The challenges that rural healthcare face include a high percentage of uninsured and elderly patients, reduced populations, equipment that is not fully utilized, and the lack of lucrative specialty services that help support hospitals financially. There also are the issues of getting patients to rural hospitals in a timely manner due to travel distances, and luring top talent from larger cities.

Telemedicine can address many of these issues if rural communities take the opportunity seriously.

Do Patients Want Telemedicine? Of Course They Do!

We all know telemedicine works, that patients and providers like it, and that outcomes are increasingly being shown to be positive on a wide variety of measures. There are also lots of studies looking at patient groups and assessing whether they would accept and use telemedicine services. Most of these however are focused on a dedicated group of patients (e.g., the elderly, those with COPD) and don’t really capture the bigger picture.

Fostering Relationships & Building Telemedicine Programs

In Early September we had the pleasure and honor of conducting a telemedicine training event as a pre-session course before the Congreso de Telesalud Región de las Américas 2014 that was held in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Dr. Pedro Ramos extended the invitation to us and he and his associates welcomed us with open arms and made our visit quite enjoyable. Four representatives of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) traveled to Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico to train a group of healthcare providers, share information and ideas, and learn about telemedicine programs in our neighboring country.

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