Improving the quality of healthcare, while increasing accessibility and lowering costs, is a complex dilemma facing rural communities around the world. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania believed that telehealth, the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical healthcare was a viable solution so it recently provided grants to conduct a thorough investigation into the factors involved.
Telehealth in Rural Hospitals: Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania reports the outcome of this year-long investigation. Illustrating telehealth implementations in rural settings, it supplies an overview of telehealth as well as an assessment of its economic impact.
The book skillfully intertwines the research and academic aspects of telehealth with helpful insights from the author. One of the most important discoveries made by the author and her team of researchers is that all too often money is wasted by implementing telehealth for services that don't impact many people. This book shares valuable insights on using telehealth for integrative health practices that could improve the health of a greater portion of the population.
This book illustrates how telehealth can, indeed, be the healthcare savior that some people believe it will be, but only under the right circumstances. It details exactly what those circumstances are so that everyone, including clinicians, patients, government entities, and vendors, can steer toward the best future path.
The author identifies the obstacles preventing wider implementation of telehealth and explains how recent federal legislation will affect telehealth implementation in rural communities. She also points out the folly of developing electronic health records before federal data standards are put into place.
The book concludes by detailing best practices and lessons learned for implementing a telehealth program in any state. It also outlines helpful recommendations for health systems providing healthcare services in rural communities.
Table of Contents
Telehealth Research Team
Why You Should Read This Book
Why Rural Communities?
Complications of the Project: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Goals of the Project
Changes in the Healthcare System
Need for Project to Assess Telehealth
Cut to the Chase
Begin with the End in Mind
What Is Telehealth?
Methods of the Project
Recommendations for Change
What about Healthcare?
What We Already Know about Healthcare
History of Healthcare in the United States
Research on Healthcare in Rural Areas
Research on Healthcare Decision Making
Healthcare Challenges in the United States
Healthcare Reform in the United States
Summary of Healthcare Research
What about Telehealth?
Research on Telehealth
Brief Historical Background of Telehealth
Telehealth Cases and Projects: Focus on Prevention and Wellness
Best Practices of Telehealth
Impact of Volume on Telehealth
Growth of Telehealth
Proposed Solutions to Telehealth Obstacles
Role of the State and Federal Government
How We Did the Project
Impact of Legislative Changes during Project
Refining the Definition of Telehealth
Definition of Rural County
How We Did the Search of the Literature
Interview Phases and Methods
Cost Impact Methodology
Macro Analysis: A Better Approach
The Cost Impact of Telehealth
Telehealth Program Impact Scenarios for Years 1, 5, and 20
Analysis Methods of Survey Data
What We Found Was Surprising
Telehealth Project Results
Telehealth Initiatives in Rural Counties
The Cost of Healthcare—With Telehealth
Time Frame of Data
Source of Data and Healthcare Cost Estimates
Future Cost of Health Based upon Modality
Limitations of the Economic Cost Model and Research
Federal or National Policy Recommendations
State Government Policy Recommendations
Policy Recommendation Summary
Appendix A: Questions and Source of Data Methods
Appendix B: FreeMind Mapping
Appendix C: Interview Theme Sheets
Appendix D: Telehealth Resources and Current Status
Appendix E: Telehealth Projects in Rural Counties
Appendix F: Survey Information and Instructions
Dr. C.J. Rhoads is a sought-after speaker, consultant, author, and expert in many different aspects of business. She has been recognized by her community with several awards and honors including the Athena Leadership award, one of Pennsylvania’s Top Women in Business, Lehigh Valley’s Most Influential Women, Kutztown University’s College of Business Top Researcher of the Year, and many others.
Currently, she is president and CEO of HPL Consortium, Inc., which develops technology tools to help people achieve health, prosperity, and leadership. She is also the managing director of HPL 501c3 Institute, which provides those tools to small groups and nonprofits at a reduced fee so that they can help underserved populations achieve and establish health, prosperity, and leadership as quickly and as efficiently as possible no matter how much technical expertise they hold.
Rhoads is also a professor in the College of Business at Kutztown University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in entrepreneurship and information technology.