November Telehealth Webinar, Nov. 21, 2013

November 2013 Webinar
The National Network of Telehealth Resource Centers
PRESENTS:

Practice Guidelines for Telemedicine 

Please join us Thursday, November 21, as Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, discusses how important telemedicine practice guidelines are to ensure quality of care and safety for patients and the critical role they play in the adoption of telemedicine by all industry stakeholders, including providers, payers, administrators, government agencies and others.

There is NO need to pre-register!
Click
here to learn more and access the webinar.
– The gpTRAC team

Is there a place for Telehealth within ACOs?

The answer is yes.  Absolutely.  Telehealth,  as a mode of healthcare delivery, provides a means to more efficiently and effectively achieve ACO goals.  Read on to find out how.

First, what are ACOs and what are ACO goals?

ACO stands for Accountable Care Organization.  ACOs are groups of healthcare providers including doctors and hospitals that voluntarily join forces to provide coordinated care to Medicare patients.  The philosophy of ACOs is that coordinated care leads to better outcomes, because patients get the care they need without unnecessary duplication of services.  This is especially true for the chronically ill.

Successful ACOs lead to higher quality care and reduced health care spending within the Medicare program.

Telehealth,  as a mode of delivery provides a means for an ACO to more efficiency and effectively achieve their goals.  Here’s how:

  1. Telehealth technology has demonstrated costs savings.  By utilizing telehealth technology, an ACO can deliver care at a lower cost in many cases than traditional in-person office visits.
  2. Telehealth provides the possibility of greater access to care for those patients who are homebound for any of a variety of reasons or live in locations where travel to sites of care is time-consuming and difficult.  Including these patients expands the ACOs patient base.
  3. Telehealth promotes more timely access to care which can result in fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations.  Preventative care is essential in reaching ACO goals.

Summary:  Telehealth promotes the goals of ACOs by lowering the costs of care while maintaining and improving the quality of care.  Through providing the means for greater access to care telehealth can increase the numbers of individuals who can participate in an ACO.  Read more on the benefits of telehealth for ACOs in the gpTRAC Resource Center here.

Instant Telehealth Service: The Unmanned Micro Clinic

“A Maryland patient with a fever could one day enter a photo booth-like facility and leave with a diagnosis and prescription,”  a recent article published in the Annapolis Capital Gazette business section begins.  For the article, Capital Gazette interviewed gpTRAC’s Zoi Hills, among others, on the MEDEX “Unmanned Micro Clinic.”

The MEDEX Micro Clinic is a portable medical room that allows patients to conduct a variety of medical tests with the assistance of installed and satellite technology.  If users need to speak with medical staff directly, the system is equipped to connect with 24 hour medical centers around the country.  Zoi first saw the Micro Clinic at a demonstration in Minnesota three years ago, when the photo-booth like medical facility was just an idea.

Now, MEDEX is garnering increased support and investments for its Micro Clinics as the global telemedicine market expands. The eventual goal of MEDEX is to have Micro Clinics in supermarkets and airports across the country, providing services at roughly the same price as a routine doctor visit co-pay (~$25).

 

Would you be quick to step into a Micro Clinic?

Read the full article on Capital Gazette and connect with gpTRAC on Twitter to tell us what you think!

Special Thank You to UMN Physicians

Having telemedicine demonstrations at the State Fair is a great opportunity to introduce Minnesotans to the possibilities telehealth services can bring to them and their communities.    Special Thank You to the following dermatologists who generously donated their time to provide free teledermatology screenings to fairgoers during the 2013 Minnesota State Fair:

Dr. Spencer Holmes
Dr. Mitchell Bender
Dr. Maria Hordinsky
Dr. Kimberly Bohjanen
Dr. Jennifer Lee
Dr. Ioanna Panoutsopoulou
Dr. Todd Seelhammer

As a fairgoer or physician, If you didn’t join us this year, make sure to stop by in 2014.

See you at the Fair!

Telehealth News Flash, Oct. 1

Telehealth news and events we have been talking about around our office this week

Functional Recovery in the Elderly After Major Surgery: Assessment of Mobility Recovery Using Wireless Technology

This recent study conducted by doctors at the Mayo clinic and published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery in early September is garnering attention in multiple fields including medicine, IT, and business.  The researchers used “off-the-shelf” fitness monitors (Fitbits) to measure mobility in elderly patients recovering from cardiac surgery.  Their findings show a significant relationship between steps taken and recovery time, and suggest information gathered from monitoring technologies may improve quality of care and post-discharge outcomes.

Additional commentary on the study:

Med City News:  Mayo Clinic Study:  Fitbit data can be an early warning sign of slow recovery from surgery

Forbes:  Fitbit Could Help Monitor Progress After Heart Surgery

Colorado-based hospital group to form digital health subsidiary
Neil Versal, MobiHealth News

Catholic Health Initiatives is a Colorado-based health system with a plan to expand virtual services by moving them to a magnet subsidiary which will include telehealth, telemedicine, mobile, media, and gamification.  The new subsidiary then plans to market its virtual services to employer groups and payers.  Many details are still to come, but we are keeping out eyes on this innovative strategy as CHI’s reach continues to expand nationally.

New Resource Available! Specialty Consultation Services

Overview: Key Issues in Specialty Consultation Telemedicine Services

When organizations are thinking about implementing telehealth services, sometimes they just don’t know what they don’t know.  What do we need to know in order to get started?  GpTRAC is excited to share this new resource to help you and your organization identify those topics.

This new “quick guide” provides general information summarizing issues of importance specifically surrounding the development and implementation of specialty consultation telemedicine services.  While many of these issues can apply in a variety of telehealth-related applications and technologies, this guide is intended to serve as a kind of check-list of the issues an organization should consider when providing specialty consultation services.  Additionally, there is a section with samples and tools for you to take and modify to meet your own organization’s needs.

This new resource is made available primarily as an on-line tool, and is available by clicking here.  However, please contact gpTRAC (888-239-7092) if you or your organization have an interest in obtaining multiple printed copies to distribute.  (Small charge/Minimum order is 10)

 

Teledermatology at the 2013 State Fair: In Pictures

Zoi used a portable exam camera to present fairgoer skin concerns to UMN Physicians on the other end of a secure videoconferencing connection.

From the UMN Physicians end dermatologists were able to examine images in real time and discuss skin concerns with fairgoers. Pictured here are gpTRAC staff and volunteers, where the fairgoer/area of concern would be.

UMN Physicians were able to speak with fairgoers directly via videoconference during and after providing teledermatology screenings to answer questions and provide recommendations for follow up. In total, 159 fairgoers received teledermatology screenings at the 2013 MN State Fair.

September Telehealth Webinar, September 19, 2013

The National Network of Telehealth Resource Centers

PRESENTS:

Use of In-Home Monitoring Technology in Complex Care Coordination

Please join us Thursday, September 19th, for this exciting webinar topic.  The presenter will explain how the rural Hawaii Island Beacon Community engaged complex patients to self manage their chronic conditions which significantly improved their health status and reduced their cost of care.by using a methodical and holistic approach.
There is NO need to pre-register!
 

Click here to learn more and access the webinar.

 

– The gpTRAC team

Teledermatology Screenings at the State Fair: Schedule

Interested in seeing telemedicine in action? Visit the University of Minnesota tent at this year’s Minnesota State Fair for free teledermatology screenings brought to you by gpTRAC and University of Minnesota Physicians. Get a screening yourself, or just enjoy the demonstration!

gpTRAC/UMP Teledermatology screenings at the 2013 Fair:

Thursday, August 22
Noon-1pm with Dr. Hordinsky

Friday, August 23
10am-11am with Dr. Bender

Saturday, August 24
10am-noon with Dr. Jennifer Lee and Erin Luxenberg

Monday, August 26
1pm-2pm with Dr. Bohjanen

Tuesday, August 27
4pm-5pm with Dr. Seelhammer

Wednesday, August 28
Noon-2pm with Dr. Holmes
4pm-5pm with Dr. Panoutsopoulou

Friday, August 30
4pm-5pm with Dr. Panoutsopoulou

Last year, gpTRAC connected 182 patients to dermatologists using a videoconferencing system and a hand held exam camera. This year, we are hoping to connect even more!

Telehealth Education at the State Fair: A History

The State Fair countdown continues! Today, we take a look back at the history of telemedicine education at the Minnesota State Fair.

The video below illustrates the development of telemedicine educational program at the Minnesota State Fair over the past ten years. The program started in 2002 under the direction of the Minnesota Telehealth Network and since 2009 has been directed by gpTRAC. Every year gpTRAC hosts a “patient awareness booth” at the fair, educating fairgoers about telemedicine services.

The goals of this event are:

1) To increase the general awareness among fairgoers about the capabilities and availability of telemedicine services, and

2) To increase the awareness of skin cancers and the importance of regular communications with healthcare providers about this dangerous disease.

The telemedicine services are provided free of charge in the University of Minnesota building on the State Fair grounds, which connects to the University of Minnesota Department of Dermatology via the University’s gigabit network.

gpTRAC will be in the University of Minnesota tent again during the 2013 State Fair, continuing the tradition. Come stop by and visit us August 22-30!