Telehealth in VHA is defined as: "The wider application of care and case management principles to the delivery of health care services using health informatics, disease management and telehealth technologies to facilitate access to care and improve the health of designated individuals and populations with the intent of providing the right care in the right place at the right time"
There are three telehealth modalities:
• Clinical Video Telehealth: Clinical Video Telehealth (CVT) is defined as the use of real-time interactive video conferencing, sometimes with supportive peripheral technologies, to assess, treat and provide care to a patient remotely. Typically, CVT links the patient(s) at a clinic to the provider(s) at another location. CVT can also provide video connectivity between a provider and a patient at home. CVT encompasses a wide variety of clinical applications such as specialty and primary care.
• Store & Forward Telehealth: Store and Forward Telehealth (SFT) is defined as the use of technologies to acquire and store clinical information (e.g. data, image, sound and video) that is then forwarded to or retrieved by a provider at another location for clinical evaluation. SFT in VA uses a clinical consult pathway and VistA Imaging in conjunction with TeleReader to provide screening, diagnostic and treatment services where time and/or distance separate the patient and provider.
• Home Telehealth: Home Telehealth (HT) is defined as a program into which Veterans are enrolled that applies care and case management principles to coordinate care using health informatics, disease management and Home Telehealth technologies to facilitate access to care and to improve the health of Veterans with the specific intent of providing the right care in the right place at the right time. The goal of HT is to improve clinical outcomes and access to care while reducing complications, hospitalizations, and clinic or emergency room visits for Veterans in post-acute care settings and high-risk patients with chronic disease.
The Telehealth Program at the SORCC is responsible for Telehealth implementation throughout the VA SORCC – at its main facility, Klamath Falls CBOC, and Grants Pass West Outpatient Clinic. The program addresses clinical, technical and business issues to ensure telehealth programs are well appropriately developed, safe, effective, cost effective, and sustainable to meet the needs of our Veterans. Collaborations that are necessary to support this work include:
1. Working with clinical (medical and mental health) to incorporate telehealth and disease management technologies into routine practice through:
a. Development of clinical applications for treatment
b. Determining the telehealth modality that is most appropriate for their treatment needs
c. Training staff on how to run a telehealth session and in the utilization of the technology.
2. Identifying and mentoring Clinical Champions who will develop and run telehealth programs in their area of expertise and serve as a peer to others interested in participating in telehealth activities
3. Facilitating the document development process for proposing new programs and setting a formalized structure for telehealth services
4. Facilitating the SORCC Telehealth Committee in its leadership of telehealth activities at the SORCC
5. Working closely with SORCC leadership towards meeting required performance expectations