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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Telehealth

Effective Examples

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Medical Advocacy & Outreach's Telehealth Services
Updated/reviewed November 2018
  • Need: Rural Alabama residents with HIV/AIDS face stigma, poverty, and transportation barriers, limiting their access to expert HIV/AIDS healthcare.
  • Intervention: Medical Advocacy & Outreach utilizes telemedicine to remove these barriers and offers cost-effective care to rural patients living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Results: This telehealth network has expanded to reach rural patients in 12 Alabama counties. Patients are staying engaged due to its convenience and cost-effective nature.

Promising Examples

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Learning Exchange Reverse Demonstration (LERD) Model
Updated/reviewed July 2021
  • Need: To make it easier for rural nurses to continue their education by decreasing the need to travel.
  • Intervention: An innovative, online health assessment course used telehealth to allow rural RN-BSN students to demonstrate skills acquisition.
  • Results: Rural participants had similar learning outcomes to those participating in the onsite version of the course, with fewer travel costs, less time away from work, and higher overall satisfaction.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health Wagon
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: Healthcare access in Central Appalachia for the medically underserved challenged by social and economic determinants of health, including transportation barriers, food insecurity, poverty, and lack of health insurance.
  • Intervention: Three mobile clinics and 2 stationary clinics provide free health care for people in 16 counties in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • Results: By leveraging technology and meeting patients where they are, Health Wagon provided comprehensive healthcare services — including specialty care — to 5,500 patients during 16,000 visit encounters in 2020.
TelePrEP
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • Need: To prevent new cases of HIV in rural Iowa.
  • Intervention: TelePrEP provides preventive care via telehealth and prescription delivery.
  • Results: Between February 2017 and August 2020, TelePrEP received 456 referrals, with 403 patients completing an initial visit.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy SD eResidential Facilities Healthcare Services Access Project
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • Need: To increase local health services to rural elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
  • Intervention: A non-profit healthcare organization implemented telehealth services to provide acute care evaluations for long-term residents in their home facilities.
  • Results: The program increased local care as evidenced by improved year-over-year provider-determined available transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively. From the success of the initial pilot implementation, the program has further matured into a long-term care offering that now reaches many other rural facilities located in 10 states across the nation.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Rural Virtual Infusion Program
Updated/reviewed April 2020
  • Need: Allow rural cancer patients in a region inclusive of 26 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota to have access to tertiary-level chemotherapy regimens in rural infusion centers.
  • Intervention: With telehealth-based oversight from a tertiary care oncology team, 3 rural infusion teams were trained to coordinate cancer treatment plans and administer complex chemotherapy regimens.
  • Results: Almost 130 patients were transitioned to receive chemotherapy in a rural infusion center, translating to over 1,000 infusion visits and saving patients/families nearly 65,000 trip miles, 1,800 travel hours and $71,000.

Other Project Examples

Mobile Health Units for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Updated/reviewed April 2022
  • Need: To bring medication-assisted treatment to rural and underserved areas in Colorado.
  • Intervention: Six mobile health units travel to 32 counties and offer services like telehealth sessions, counseling, naloxone, and referrals to wraparound services.
  • Results: The units traveled more than 100,000 miles from January 2020 to January 2021.
Queen Anne's County Mobile Integrated Community Health (MICH) Program
Updated/reviewed March 2022
  • Need: To connect patients to resources in order to reduce use of emergency services, emergency department visits, and hospital readmissions.
  • Intervention: Patients receive support (by in-person visit, phone call, or telehealth visit) from a paramedic, community health nurse, peer recovery specialist, and pharmacist.
  • Results: Between July 2016 and June 2019, the MICH program enrolled 233 patients and demonstrated a total savings of $3,393,908 in healthcare costs.
HIV Telehealth Collaborative Care
Updated/reviewed September 2021
  • Need: To increase access to specialty care for rural veterans living with HIV.
  • Intervention: The HIV Telehealth Collaborative Care (TCC) study connects these patients with HIV specialists via clinical video telehealth or VA video connect and works to create shared care relationships with primary care teams in rural areas.
  • Results: The HIV TCC program provides HIV specialty care access to rural veterans in a sustainable manner with infrastructure, mentorship, and capacity building.
ADPH Telehealth Program
Updated/reviewed August 2021
  • 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 65 of 67 county health departments.