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.
From Alabama to Wyoming, and from Allergy to Wound Care, the directory now lists 100 providers of telemedicine services.
“The idea came to us because we have so many rural hospitals and other health-care providers in Arizona and surrounding states, and these facilities were eager to initiate or expand their ability to serve patients via telemedicine,” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, principal investigator and co-director of the SWTRC.
“It appears to have been an idea whose time had come.”
The original plan was to create a regional directory of telemedicine providers. “But since the service provider companies are constantly expanding, we chose to make it a national resource,” said Nancy Rowe, ATP associate director for outreach.
Users can search the directory by state, or by the tele-services they need, or by ancillary services, such as patient engagement or language interpretation. The directory was designed to be self-explanatory and easy to use.
The directory was created as a public service of the SWTRC and ATP, so there is no charge for service providers to be listed.
It’s aimed at administrators and decision-makers with hospitals, clinics, health-care systems, schools, employers, insurers, correctional facilities and other entities, to help them find the best telemedicine services partner for their needs.
Dale Alverson, MD, Medical Director at University of New Mexico, Center for Telehealth adds, "This directory provides an unique and incredibly useful approach for those seeking specific telehealth services in their state or region, as well as a forum for telehealth service providers to offer links to the services that are capable of providing. An individual can search the directory based on the service they are needing, the type of organization they represent, and their location, and thus make a more informed decision on choosing the service desired. This is an amazing and well-designed resource that those interested in telemedicine should use!"
Entities that want to be included in the directory are asked to answer a series of questions so that users can easily find and compare information about a potential partner.
The directory provides a dashboard for each company in alpha order, and if the company looks like a good fit, users can click for a detail page. If the details look good, users can click directly to the website of the provider company or program.
The SWTRC is vendor-neutral and has not vetted the entities listed in the Service Provider Directory. Nor does the SWTRC endorse any of the companies listed, but all of them provide contact information.
For those who haven’t explored the Service Provider Directory, here’s the link: http://telemedicine.arizona.edu/servicedirectory .
The SWTRC will continue to add providers to its directory. From time to time, the program receives fan mail from users of the Service Provider Directory, including this comment from a physician practice consultant in Massachusetts:
“Your directory has been a great resource to look at, as we research telemedicine within the state, and the effect on physician practices. I wish I had found it earlier.”