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The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

Stephanie Forbes, PharmD (left), Kate Johnson, RN, and Kevin Boesen, Pharm D.

In 2006, 10 years after he received his PharmD from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Kevin Boesen, then a faculty member with the college, decided to follow through on what seemed like a great idea.

Today he is CEO of SinfoniaRx, a medication therapy management company that has outpaced its competitors and has tracked $778 million in healthcare cost savings, while improving medication safety and effectiveness for millions of patients across the country.

February 28, 2017 is Rare Disease Day, and the Arizona Carcinoid & Neuroendocrine Cancer Foundation, Inc. is collaborating with Banner/MD Anderson and the Arizona Telemedicine Program to present an educational event about this rare cancer.    

What would you guess is the most pressing regulatory topic facing state medical boards?

Opioid prescribing? Physician re-entry into practice? Medical marijuana?

Those are all on the list of results from a Federation of State Medical Boards survey. 

But it’s telemedicine that ranks No. 1.

When you hear the phrase “telehealth connections,” you probably think of the literal connection—through wires or Wi-Fi, through dedicated circuits or the internet—between the patient and the health-care provider.

But one telemedicine program is taking pains to ensure that telehealth includes a strong human connection, too.

The Phoenix Veterans Health Care System (PVAHCS) is not just providing health care from behind the walls of its main facility in downtown Phoenix. The PVAHCS has a mobile clinic – also known as a mobile medical unit (MMU) – that is being deployed to rural parts of Arizona to provide various health care services.

Home telehealth programs can help patients manage chronic disease, while receiving education and daily guidance from a nurse care coordinator or other health professional.

For some reason, however, many patients in home telehealth programs do not adhere to daily check-ins.

I am the telehealth specialist and facility e-consult coordinator with the Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System. As part of my studies toward a doctoral degree in nursing, I have found a potential solution.

For a lot of seniors, trying to adapt to new technology – especially when it stands between patient and physician – is stressful at best.

But the Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System has found a more user-friendly way to connect patients and doctors through telemedicine.

The Phoenix VA was one of the centers chosen by the National VA Telehealth Technology Office to test Virtual Medical Rooms (VMRs) to connect patients to their clinicians.