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Innovations in Health Technology: Telehealth

Telehealththe use of technology to deliver care at a distanceoffers unique opportunities and poses potential risks for academic medicine.

Telehealth use has risen dramatically as health systems look for ways to provide care while protecting providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we reassess what health care looks like in a world living with COVID-19, it is crucial that we understand how telehealth impacts medical education and training, the delivery system and its workforce, and patients’ access to care. Additionally, the research mission of academic medicine will have an outsized role in evaluating the impact of telehealth services on quality, costs, and outcomes of care. 

This collection of resources:

  • Shares learnings across academic medicine about telehealth implementation and training; and
  • Provides regulatory support for telehealth at health care institutions, including education about recent updates;
  • Highlights how the AAMC and its members are implementing and using telehealth to provide high-quality care and improve access;
  • Uncovers insights from research and other literature about the impact of telehealth on access and workforce.

AAMC Telehealth Equity Catalyst Awards

Call for applications now open for 2022 AAMC Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) Awards and Pilot Grants!

Through the TEC Awards and the new TEC Pilot Grants, the AAMC aims to recognize and highlight the efforts of AAMC-member institutions that are advancing health care equity through telehealth and health technology in new and effective ways, while tackling barriers to care via telehealth that impact health and health care equity. New this year, AAMC members will also be able to apply for a TEC Pilot Grant in clinical delivery and/or medical education. The AAMC expects to make awards and grants for both the second annual TEC Awards and the new TEC Pilot Grants. Applicants will be eligible to receive $15,000 to assist with sustaining and/or scaling their program or to assist with the implementation and evaluation of the proposed pilot. 

Download the call for applications for the TEC Awards (PDF) and the TEC Pilot Grants (PDF). Applications must be submitted online.

Submit applications

Questions? Contact Sarah Hampton

Learn more about the five 2021 TEC Awardees

AAMC Learning Series: Advancing Health Equity Through Telehealth

Through this learning series, the AAMC aims to highlight the role of academic medicine in promoting and advancing health equity through telehealth. Key elements of the series will focus on understanding the impact of telehealth on equity and access to care, the role data can play in improving telehealth access, and evolving best practices that are being used by health systems to improve digital health literacy and narrow the digital divide. Learn more about each webinar. Questions? Please contact telehealth@aamc.org.

Webinar learning series:

  • How Academic Medicine Can Improve Digital Health Equity and Why It Matters, Thursday, April 28, 1-2 pm ET; Watch the recording
  • Leveraging Data to Drive Change in Telehealth Access Equity, Thursday, June 2, 3-4 pm ET; Register now
  • Promoting Equitable Specialty Access: Clinical Innovations & Tools from the Field, Wednesday, June 29, 3-4 pm ET; Register now
  • Tackling the Digital Divide for Pandemic Preparedness: AMCs’ Strategies to Improve Telehealth Access and Equity; Date and registration coming soon.

This work supports “Addressing the Digital Divide to Improve Vaccine Access & Information,” a supplemental award (#6NU50CK000506-02-01) funded under a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sustaining Telehealth Success: Integration Imperatives and Best Practices for Advancing Telehealth in Academic Health Systems

As telehealth has become an even more widely accepted mode of delivering care, academic medical centers (AMCs) are examining how telehealth can advance their strategic goals. AMCs must learn how to integrate telehealth capabilities into their everyday clinical care and operations.

This report from the AAMC’s Future of Academic Medicine Series will help health system leaders and telehealth managers to critically assess, design, implement, and integrate telehealth programs across mission areas. It presents effective strategies and successful practices from leaders at 15 AMCs that have leading telehealth programs. Read the Executive Summary (PDF). Download the report. For questions, please contact telehealth@aamc.org.

Sustaining Telehealth Success: Integration in Action

  • The AAMC, in partnership with Manatt Health, recently launched a Telehealth Integration Learning Collaborative. This collaborative provides an intimate and advanced forum for participants to share their telehealth strategies and challenges and learn from each other regarding opportunities and methodologies used by others for advancing their virtual care objectives. For more information, please email telehealth@aamc.org.
  • Resource: Video telehealth visits are an effective way for patients to access health care providers—but health systems need to invest significant resources in technology, training, and infrastructure to ensure their success. This one-page briefing, Understanding a Video Visit at the Health System Level (PDF), outlines the critical components of a successful video visit and is aimed primarily for policymakers and payers, but can be applied to all health systems.
  • WebinarView a recent webinar that highlights findings from the report and real-life experiences from Kaiser Permanente Washington and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Telehealth and Education

Final Report: New Cross-Continuum Competencies in Telehealth

The AAMC and its Telehealth Advisory Committee have developed telehealth competencies across the continuum of UME, GME, and CME with input from a broad range of stakeholders. The competencies are intended to guide educators developing curricula as well as students learning to practice and professionals continuing their development. This is the second report in the New & Emerging Areas in Medicine Series. Download the telehealth competencies report from the AAMC Store. If you have questions, please contact us.

Telehealth Competencies in Action

Check out these videos to see how AAMC member institutions are using innovative approaches to integrating telehealth into medical education and training across UME, GME, and CME.

Telehealth Skills for Health Care Providers

The AAMC Telehealth Advisory Committee recently published a defined a set of critical skills needed by all clinicians to deliver care through telehealth. This set of skills can support health care institutions and health care professionals looking for guidance on how to provide high-quality care at a time when telehealth services are being rapidly deployed. You can review the set of skills recently published in the Telemedicine and e-Health journal.

Call for Submissions: Telehealth Education

As health systems increasingly use telehealth to provide care delivery, it is important to disseminate best practices across the field, promoting their integration into training and curricula across the continuum. MedEdPORTAL invites generalizable teaching and learning activities with a focus on telehealth education. For more information, please visit www.mededportal.org/telehealth.

From Bedside to Webside: Future Doctors Learn How to Practice Remotely

As the use of telemedicine grows, more medical schools and teaching hospitals are offering specialized training in virtual care.

Examples of Telehealth Training Across Academic Medicine

As health systems increasingly use telehealth to provide care delivery, it is important to capture best practices across the field and highlight the innovative ways in which telehealth is being integrated into training and curricula across UME, GME, and continuing education. Learn more about exemplary telehealth training programs across the country.

Telehealth and COVID-19

AAMC Data Snapshot: 55% of visits for common mental and behavioral health conditions delivered via telehealth in 2020

This data snapshot illustrates the significant impact of audio and video visits in providing access to mental and behavioral health care.

Delivering more care remotely will be critical as COVID-19 races through communities

Even before Congress lifted restrictions on reimbursement for telehealth through Medicare, academic medical centers were expanding telemedicine services.

AAMC Data Snapshot: AAMC-member teaching hospitals are expanding telehealth services to support COVID-19 patients

This data snapshot highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has created myriad needs in both diagnosing COVID-19 cases and preventing the spread of the virus.

AAMC Webinars: Telehealth and COVID-19

Scaling Telehealth in Urban and Rural Settings During the COVID-19 Crisis

This webinar focuses on how two health systems have managed to scale up to meet current demand and how they are applying telehealth technology in both urban and rural communities.

Rapidly Scaling Telehealth in Response to COVID-19

In this webinar, leaders from the University of Virginia and Oregon Health & Science University share their experiences in deploying resources to dramatically scale up telehealth capacity. 

Telehealth Regulatory and Policy Resources During COVID-19

Regulatory resource documents on the current state of telehealth during and after the Covid-19 public health emergency and AAMC’s recommendations for the future of telehealth.

Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Hub to learn more about the advocacy efforts led by the AAMC.

Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP): Access resources about telehealth policies, focusing on federal, state, and private payer policies, state licensure laws, and federal legislation. 

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB): Before the COVID-19 pandemic, FSMB had been working on a universal licensure compact. With the vast increase in telehealth and the increased movement in providers across the country to respond to the pandemic, licensure has come again to the forefront. FSMB has been analyzing state licensure laws and other policies. 

CMS COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities: Access the current decisions from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) to temporarily modify or waive certain Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or HIPAA requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

AAMC Telehealth Initiatives and Research

Project CORE: Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences

The AAMC has been supporting health systems in implementing eConsults (asynchronous communication between primary care providers and specialists) and improving communication and coordination at the point of referral since 2014, through a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Health Care Innovation Award. Project CORE has expanded to over 30 AMCs and children’s hospitals, better serving the needs of collective primary care populations totaling over 3 million patients. The model has been shown to reduce wait times, no-show rates, and leakage rates, in addition to improving comprehensiveness in primary care, and improving coordination of care between PCPs and specialists.

Telehealth in Academic Medicine: Roles, Opportunities, and Risks

If AMCs are to be leaders in the rapidly advancing field of telehealth, they must consider opportunities and risks in developing workforce capacity, telehealth training, and collecting high-quality data and conducting telehealth research. Read more. 

Teaching Hospitals Lead in Telehealth Adoption Data Snapshot and Overview

Findings from an AAMC analysis of data from the American Hospital Association reveal that teaching hospitals are increasingly implementing telehealth programs and are more likely to offer many types of telehealth services compared with nonteaching hospitals.

Expanding Access to Care Through Telehealth

Telehealth and Access to Care

Ensuring that telehealth reduces barriers to access rather than creating additional ones is crucial. Learn more about the challenges and the unique approaches that health systems are using to leverage telehealth in improving access to care.

How the telemedicine boom threatens to increase inequities

The boom in telemedicine is great for many patients, but what about those with limited English, income, digital skills, and access? Here’s how to help them.

Rural and at risk for COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is hitting remote areas where patients are poorer, sicker, and older hard. Here's how medical schools and teaching hospitals are helping.

An increasing number of teaching hospitals offer online counseling visits. That's more important now than ever.

Telepsychiatry visits are increasing access to mental health care, particularly in rural areas, prisons, and nursing homes.

Labor pains: The OB-GYN shortage

Half of U.S. counties lack a single OB-GYN, and some women’s lives are endangered by long treks for needed care. What leaders in academic medicine are doing.

Addressing the escalating psychiatrist shortage

Learn what academic medicine is doing to help deliver care now and train more psychiatrists for the future.

For Veterans, Telehealth Offers Access, Convenience

The Veterans Health Administration uses telehealth technology to improve its reach and broaden its services.

Telehealth Helps Close Health Care Disparity Gap in Rural Areas

Academic medical centers are using telehealth services to improve patient outcomes in underserved rural communities.