For many years I have been interested in telehealth, the delivery of health care services where the provider and patient are not in the same physical location. My colleagues and I used telehealth services as a medium for developing educational activities. A favorite patient case was Yusaf Khan. You can see his story below.
Yusaf is a man from a culture with high expectations and he means to live up to them regardless of his health and wellbeing. His son, Nabeel, is concerned that his father is putting culture above his health and via a mixture of electronic media he seeks help.
The case explores issues in cross generational communication, as well as, illustrating cultural expectations that are unfamiliar to most Americans. It also raises a number of issues about the delivery of healthcare at a distance. To wit:
- What are the ethics of giving medical advice/recommendations via electronic media?
- How can providers be compensated for their advice/services?
- How can the limitations of not being physically present with the patent be overcome?
- What are the limits on giving advice/recommendations at a distance?
- How can quality control be maintained?
To learn more about telehealth and resources to fund pilot projects, see these links:
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Rural Health. HRSA has a whole unit devoted to telehealth and their web site has many links to programs and activities of interest to rural areas. http://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/about/telehealth
- One area is HRSA’s Telehealth Network Grant Program. Texas does not have a current grant in this area but the abstract for the one in California gives an idea of the kind of projects funded. http://ersrs.hrsa.gov/ReportServer/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?/HGDW_Reports/FindGrants/GRANT_FIND&ACTIVITY=H2A&rs:Format=HTML4.0
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Universal Service Rural Health Care Program. The FCC provides financial help to rural providers to establish broadband services to rural communities to enable telehealth activities to be conducted. http://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/tapd/ruralhealth
Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/cjfx9ag.