Telehealth is a valuable tool. Technical infrastructure requirements will vary depending on what type of telehealth services your organization plans to offer, but nearly all telehealth programs require:
- Access to broadband internet. You need sufficient bandwidth to transmit audio and video data. As a rural health care organization, you may have difficulty connecting to or obtaining affordable and reliable broadband service. Learn more about getting connected.
- Imaging technology or peripherals. These devices are the backbone of telehealth. They allow rural health organizations to see and hear patients even when they are miles apart. Digital stethoscopes, for instance, can transmit heart and lung sounds to remote providers.
- Access to technical support staff. Technical support staff members can help answer questions about telehealth programs. To help with efficiency, technical support staff may be shared across collaborating organizations.
- Staff training.You will need to train your staff to use telehealth technology, which may take time. You should consider whether workflow changes may be required and train accordingly.
Here is a link to HealthIT.gov, which addresses the technical infrastructure requirements of telehealth.
Practices may also want to contact the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center at 434-906-4960 or the Southeast Telehealth Resource Center at 888-738-7210, or find their Regional Telehealth Resource Center using this map.