Need: To increase access to healthcare throughout Alabama.
Intervention: The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has created telehealth communications at county health departments.
Results: ADPH telehealth services are currently available in 66 of 67 county health departments.
Created in 2015, the
Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Telehealth
Program allows patients to visit their nearest county
health department for appointments with specialists in
another city. The ADPH has a video production and
broadcast facility as well as a statewide
videoconferencing network. In addition, the ADPH was able
to purchase the components and build its own telehealth
carts, thereby saving itself significant money in
starting this new program. Currently, 66 county health
departments are equipped with a telehealth cart.
ADPH staff use the telehealth carts for meetings and
training in addition to programs that use it for
telehealth appointments such as disease intervention and
microscope competency testing. In addition, the ADPH is
currently working with the following external partners:
Affinity Cardiovascular Specialists
Alabama Department of Mental Health
Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association
Children's of Alabama (hospital)
Five Horizons Health Services
University of Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center
ADPH external telehealth partners schedule patients'
appointments in cooperation with the appropriate county
health department. Travel time for patients is
significantly reduced, as the patient is able to have the
telehealth encounter with their provider without leaving
their county of residence. County health department staff
facilitate the appointment and operate the telehealth
equipment. Each telehealth cart has the following
Handheld examination camera with a general viewing
lens, otoscope lens, and dermatology lens
Blood pressure monitor
Additional equipment is deployed for some specialty
clinics such as abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds,
fetal heart monitor, and colposcopy cameras.
When the ADPH Telehealth Program began in 2015, 23 of the
67 county health departments had the bandwidth capacity
to conduct telehealth services. Broadband is now
available at all county health departments.
The ADPH has designed a second style custom cart that is
used exclusively for meetings, training, and telehealth
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is believed to be
the first in the nation to offer
dialysis visits via telehealth. For more information
about these visits:
Krishna, V.N., Managadi, K., Smith, M., & Wallace, E.
(2017). Telehealth in the Delivery of Home Dialysis Care:
Catching up with Technology. Advances in Chronic
Kidney Disease, 24(1), 12-16. Article
To learn more about Children's of Alabama and Alabama
Department of Public Health's work with pediatric
epilepsy and telehealth:
The state of Alabama has not enacted legislation that
would provide equitable reimbursement for services taking
place in the office or via telehealth. State health
departments need state or federal funding for the
management, operation, and evaluation of telehealth
See if your state or region already has an existing
telehealth network. Joining an existing network is
cheaper and more efficient than starting a new network,
establishing originating sites, and buying the needed
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.