Success Stories

Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center starts telehealth program in response to COVID-19

The Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center located at the Mercer University School of Medicine began a telehealth initiative to address the tremendous need for telehealth at the onset of the corona pandemic.

This telehealth initiative was designed to address the tremendous need for telehealth at the onset of the corona pandemic and has facilitated the delivery of quality telehealth at no cost to as many as 360 physician practices in rural Georgia.

Looking for ways to assist patients in rural areas of the state while supporting the local healthcare workforce in these areas, rural providers have been provided with free, 6-month telemedicine capabilities and training so that patients could be seen by their own PCPs in their homes due to the social distancing and shelter-in-place safeguards.

Telehealth is a vital mechanism for providing access to safe, cost-effective quality care to patients at a distance. As such, it is important for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other providers who are often the primary providers for rural and disadvantaged populations, to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to utilize telehealth technologies in practice.

Topics to be covered

  1. defining telehealth
  2. telehealth etiquette
  3. interprofessional collaboration
  4. regulations
  5. reimbursement
  6. security/Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  7. ethical practice in telehealth
  8. the satisfaction of patients and providers

A multimodal approach

  1. didactics
  2. simulations
  3. practice immersions
  4. telehealth projects

The multimodal approach allows the students to develop the comfort, knowledge, & skills needed to embrace the utilization of telehealth in health care.

The Multimodal Training Program consists of six to ten hours of virtual telehealth lectures & technology demonstrations covering the topics outlined above, presented by experienced & expert implementors of clinical telehealth services.