Access to Technology
Access to technology can be critical to services integration programs. For example:
- Co-located services models may use a shared electronic health record (EHR).
- Behavioral health integration models may use virtual technologies to connect behavioral health specialists and patients in primary care offices.
- Services integration programs using telehealth must have access to high speed broadband.
Rural communities should consider how access to technology could affect the program. Rural services integration program may be able to seek assistance from their Regional Extension Centers. The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth also funds Telehealth Resource Centers to assist healthcare organizations, networks, and providers implement telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas.
The Health Resources and Services Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, and Stratis Health have developed materials about health information technology that may be useful for rural communities: