Telehealth in Rural Hospitals: Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Telehealth in Rural Hospitals

Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania, 1st Edition

By CJ Rhoads

Productivity Press

318 pages | 79 B/W Illus.

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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 onlyunder 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

Our Conclusions

Unexpected Results

Recommendations for Change

Conclusion Summary

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

Project Details

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

Survey 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

Survey Results

Interview Results

Telehealth Initiatives in Rural Counties

The Cost of Healthcare—With Telehealth

The Challenge

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



About the Author


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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Service Industries
MEDICAL / Administration