Achieving Telehealth’s Promise for Rural Health: Insights from Telehealth Leaders

by Jenn Lukens

telehealth graphicSince its introduction into the medical field, telehealth has been a tool that offers remote healthcare services, such as provider consultations and patient monitoring, to underserved parts of the country. Many rural clinics and hospitals have successfully adopted telehealth models, using them to connect patients and medical providers to additional healthcare services within seconds.

Along the way, obstacles have slowed the process of instilling telehealth as a common, viable medical practice. Many challenges still stand in the way of its full potential.

Organizations at the federal, state, and local levels are continuing efforts to advance telehealth delivery for rural Americans. To learn what it will take to fully integrate it into rural healthcare practices, we asked five leaders in the field:

“The promise of telehealth for rural communities has been touted for decades. Why is it taking so long to become mainstream in the practice of rural medicine? How can we change the trajectory of telehealth adoption?”

Telehealth’s Future Success Requires a Paradigm Shift
by William England, PhD, JD, Director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth

Scalability Shows Signs of Telehealth Growth
by Marcia M. Ward, PhD, Director of the Rural Telehealth Research Center

Using Telehealth to Put Patients at the Center of Healthcare
by Mario Gutierrez, MPH, Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy’s National Telehealth Policy Resource Center

Recognizing Telehealth’s Full Potential
by Kristi Henderson, DNP, CFNP, CACNP, FAEN, Vice President of Innovation and Virtual Care at Ascension’s Texas Ministry

Telehealth Improvement Will Take Federal Movement and Provider Cohesion
by Gary Capistrant, MPA, Chief Policy Officer of the American Telemedicine Association