Remember…it is about the patient!

A couple of weeks ago, I listened to a presentation on Minnesota Public Broadcasting (MPR) by Adam Darkins, MD, which again energized me about the work that we do supporting the growth and development of telehealth.

Dr. Darkins, VP for Medical Affairs and Enterprise Technology Develop at Medtronic, was presenting at a conference in Minneapolis focused on the use of technology in healthcare. Early on in his presentation he said something that made me sit up a bit straighter and listen just a bit more closely. It was something that I have heard many times from a former co-worker of mine (a registered nurse and telehealth champion): remember, it is about the patient.

Yes! That is who must stay at the absolute center of our focus as we discuss all things telehealth!

Telehealth, more simply healthcare, must focus on what is happening with the patient. When we consider the new opportunities in telehealth, we need to specifically identify what problem we are trying to solve, not just for the provider, the health system or the insurance company, but for the patient.

While convenience and access are both key components to the value of telehealth, it needs to be about more. It must also be about improvements – improvements in a patient’s overall health, improvement in the overall costs of providing that care, improvements in the health of the general public – in order for telehealth to truly make a difference.

Or maybe, as Dr. Darkins shared, it is about shifting the model of care to more fully benefit the patient. Maybe the patient’s primary care location really is considered their home, and they would “in-reach to the hospital” or clinic for supportive services and care when needed, rather than obtaining “outreach from the hospital” only after a major illness episode or the identification of a disease. His description of the current or traditional healthcare delivery model as being “very much from the industrial age”, where you brought people TO their care access point, is really not the way the rest of the world functions today. It is becoming more important to figure out ways to bring healthcare to the patient, in their everyday experiences. The right place for the provision of care could be almost anywhere, and the right time could be now.

Healthcare, supported by telehealth, needs to continue to focus on what is actually being done and why, remembering always…it is about the patient!

Listen to the entire presentation here:

www.mprnews.org/story/2015/05/14/mpr_news_presents


Call for Presentations: gpTRAC Regional Telehealth Forum 2014

Telehealth & HIT:  Partners in Patient Care
gpTRAC Regional Telehealth Forum
April 3-4, 2014

The Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center (gpTRAC) has opened the Call for Presentations for this year’s Telehealth Forum.

We are looking for presentations that support this year’s theme and can:
1) expand the understanding that telehealth is indeed a technology that creates and uses various kinds of health information in the care of a patient;
2) share how an organization intertwined their  telehealth services with their HIT services;
3) encourage others to look to their own organizations and say “We should do that too!”.

Anyone with expertise is invited to submit an abstract.  Click here for more guidance and directions surrounding your submission and to access the abstract form.

Forum Registration: Watch for the official registration information…coming soon!!
Hotel Registration: Click here to make your room reservations at the Embassy Suites, Minneapolis, Airport/Mall of America. There is a limited number of rooms reserved for this event.

If you have any questions, please email gptrac@umn.edu or call 888-239-7092.
We are looking forward to a great event!

 

gpTRAC teaches HIT @ Scrubs Academy

Every year in late June the University of North Dakota Rural Collaborative Opportunities for Occupational Learning in Health hosts a 3 day camp for middle school students interested in the health sciences called Scrubs Academy.  Scrubs Academy encourages students from across North Dakota to pursue a career in healthcare.  Through hands on and interactive activities students are exposed to healthcare disciples and professions including Occupational Therapy, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Mental Health, Dental, Rad Tech, Neuroscience, Nursing, Forensic Pathology, Sleep Medicine, and now… HIT!  For the last two years gpTRAC has partnered with Scrubs Academy to teach a workshop on HIT, Telehealth, and Telemedicine.  This year, after learning definitions and applications of HIT and Telehealth, students took on the roll of HIT Innovators in 2050, designing and pitching products they think could improve health and the healthcare system.  From laser smartphone apps, to 3D virtual doctor projections, to pillows that calm brain waves into REM sleep, our socks were knocked off by how creative these future healthcare leaders are!

Why We Should Expect Telemedicine

“The history of medicine is defined by advances born of bioscience. But never before has it been driven to this degree by digital technology.” -New York Times, 10/9/2012

Digital technology is expanding the reach of health care through telemedicine and mobile health care applications.  In this video, produced by gpTRAC and Health Science students at the University of Minnesota, we highlight one of the main reasons why:  young people have already adopted mobile technology as an integral part of their life, and will continue to as they grow up.  We should expect telemedine, because the next generation of health care leaders (and consumers) already do.  

This video was submitted as part of the 2012 American Telemedicine Video Contest addressing the theme:  “Expect Telemedicine, Because Telemedicine Works.”