A snapshot of Telehealth and Telemedicine in rural America

March 28, 2014 | By: Donna Cusano | No Comments

Telehealth and telemedicine (virtual consults) are moving forward in large and largely rural Nebraska and neighboring Iowa. TheNebraska Medical Center not only has an executive director for telehealth (not buried in an HIT department) but also no less than 13 initiatives in process from stroke to cancer care. Video networks connect rural hospitals with medical centers. The VA’s leadership in this geographic area has been crucial, with over 550 patients in home telehealth in Nebraska – Western Iowa and additional telemedicine programs for psychiatry, wound care, nutritional counseling and infectious diseases. Videoconferencing equipment in hospitals and public health centers, installed in a mid-2000s program, is being repurposed for video consults. Interestingly, its use in this region is not new. For 10 years, a University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) psychiatry associate professor has been having routine video psychiatric consults with elderly nursing home patients. Telemedicine’s first use in Nebraska was also psychiatric–55 years ago–by a University of Nebraska Medical Center dean using undoubtedly black-and-white two-way video.

Further Links:

A snapshot of telehealth and telemedicine in rural America

Doctor’s home visit is back — kind of — as telehealth flourishes nationwide (?–Ed.), Omaha World-Herald

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