Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How much do you know about telemedicine or telehealth?

There are a growing number of organizations around the country that have received funding from the U.S. government to provide telemedicine education, training, and support to regional health care provider groups. Given that I went to medical school in Arkansas (UAMS), I wanted to share what the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences was up to these days. The UAMS Center for Distance Health (which didn't exist when I was a student back many years ago) has set up a website called LearnTelehealth.org and they are featuring courses and even a telehealth game so that you can test your knowledge regarding the telemedicine industry. I had a chance to say hello to the folks from UAMS when I was attending the 2012 American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference in San Jose, CA earlier this year.

As the telemedicine industry continues to grow, expect to see more of these types of regional support and training groups popping up in your neighborhood. LearnTelehealth.org is the website for the South Central Telehealth Resource Center.

The South Central Telehealth Resource Center (SCTRC) serves Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. It functions primarily through a new website that will work in partnership with the Center for Distance Health’s Training Center based at UAMS. The resource center website, www.learntelehealth.org, targets health care and health education groups that have an interest in using telehealth.

LearnTelehealth.org is also the online presence for the Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA) Training Center grant project. This grant is through Connect Arkansas and focuses on telehealth training and awareness in the state of Arkansas.

The SCTRC focuses on telehealth education and peer interactions online. The SCTRC also conducts hands-on training in its training center or on-site. Contact us if you’re interested in arranging a hands-on training session.

In 2006 the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth initiated a regional telehealth resource center grant program to provide support and guidance to telehealth programs. The Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have a mission to serve as a focal point for advancing the effective use of telehealth and to support access to telehealth services in rural and underserved communities. The TRCs have extensive telehealth experience and can provide services, resources and tools to both developing and operating programs. Each TRC also has an understanding of regional concerns and the climate for telehealth in their geographic region. You will find many tools to assist your program on each of the TRC websites.

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