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Southwest Telehealth Resource Center: Helping Providers Connect with Patients in the Rural Southwest

Telehealth services are available to providers in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada

Helping healthcare providers connect with patients in some of the most underserved areas of the Southwest is the mission of the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC).

One of 14 telehealth resource centers in the U.S., the SWTRC was established in 2009 under the aegis of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), headquartered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.  

Colorado Rural Health Summit: Helping Stakeholders Fill in the Gaps

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to form a partnership to support healthcare access in rural communities.

As a result, since 2012, Leila Samy, Rural Health IT Coordinator, HHS Office of the National Coordinator, has worked with rural communities around the country, organizing statewide meetings to address issues such as healthcare financing, telehealth infrastructure, broadband demands and other topics relevant to establishing and maintaining healthcare access in rural communities.

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?

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.

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.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Service Provider Directory Now Lists Info on 100 Providers across the U.S.

The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) and its parent organization, the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), launched their Service Provider Directory at their first Telehealth and Telemedicine Service Provider Showcase, in Phoenix in October 2014.

5 Ways Telemedicine Can Improve Your Practice Revenue

We all know telemedicine brings huge benefits to patient care - from improving care accessibility to reducing medication noncompliance and hospital readmissions.

But telemedicine can also be a path to better practice profitability. Adding telemedicine services to your practice can actually drive up your revenue.

TeleICU Experience - University of Utah

To respond to the growing need for intensivist support among many facilities in the mountain west, a new service has been created within the University of Utah Health Care's extensive Telehealth System. When a regional hospital lacks intensivist coverage, their primary ICU attending is out sick, the local pulmonologist goes on vacation, or an expanding community ICU service finds itself short-handed, the University of Utah’s TeleICU program is here to help.

The TeleICU program has been implemented for just over a year, with many success stories. Many patients who otherwise may have been transferred to a tertiary center have been able to stay in their community hospitals, near family and support systems, while providing revenue for the local hospital. This virtual intensivist coverage allows our affiliate facilities to function at the top of their skill set, and patients that do require transfer to a larger center can be more rapidly identified.

Need Telemedicine Services? We've Got You Covered.

The benefits of telemedicine and telehealth have been clearly supported over the past 20 years with more than 20,000 research papers published. Telemedicine reduces barriers to care, improves patient access to specialists, helps medical practitioners expand their practice reach, and can realize substantial cost savings for healthcare systems and patients.

As the technology has become more affordable and generic, and states enact parity legislation, the market for commercial telemedicine specialty services is exploding—and this can be a very good thing for healthcare systems, hospitals, clinics, and other organizations facing healthcare provider shortages. But with so many telemedicine service providers out there, the challenge is narrowing down the field to the one that will best fit your organization, your community, and your patients’ needs.

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