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The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

In early November, the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) partnered with Summit Healthcare to bring “Building Innovative and Successful Telehealth Programs: Improving Access and Enhancing Care” to Show Low, a rural community located on the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona. We were so proud to jointly produce an all-day telehealth workshop for more than 50 healthcare professionals not only from this region but from multiple states. We also were honored to be the very first special event held in Summit’s newly opened educational conference room.

Yikes! Here we are again, heading into the holidays, that time of year when we rush to the store for the perfect turkey, knowing we’ll spend the next several weeks shopping for gifts, baking cookies, writing cards, and making sure we get to the post office on time.

And then we sit down and stop to think of all the people and things we are thankful for. And we are thankful to our friends and colleagues, who are willing to share their thanks with us.

The digital age has presented numerous benefits for a variety of economic sectors with the health industry among the biggest winners. From faster communication between patients and health professionals to better service delivery, health organizations have seen improvements in a variety of daily operations. Sadly, the digital age is a double-edged sword, and as more health organizations use the latest technology, there is the looming threat of poor data security.

The University of Arizona is accepting applications for a Rural Telehealth Certificate Program.  Telehealth has a role in just about all healthcare delivery systems, and nurses are frequently involved as telepresenters or healthcare providers.  In response to the need for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to experience and understand telehealth as a method of healthcare delivery, the Rural Telehealth Certificate Program (RTCP) has been approved and piloted at the UA College of Nursing. December 2019 will mark the graduation of the first cohort of the RTCP, which was composed of four Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) students. Because of the sucess of the pilot program, the College of Nursing has realized the demand for telehealth education at all levels of nursing education.  Starting in January 2020, the RTCP will be offered to all nurses.

Camryn Payne going over the data she collected with Mike Holcomb, associate director IT and Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, director for the Arizona Telemedicine Program.

During the eleven weeks I worked for the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) this summer, Dr. Ronald S. Weinstein, director for the ATP was fond of telling me that the most rewarding aspect of a summer research project was having the opportunity to publish a paper at the end of it. While I hesitate to argue with one of the most influential leaders in telemedicine, I have to say that being able to truthfully and unironically add “Proficient in Microsoft Excel” to my resume probably tops my list, for now. But in all seriousness, my summer spent building a portfolio of the telehealth-related research projects funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, (PCORI) and being thrown head-first into the world of scientific research and academic literature that I had only imagined during my first year of college in St. Louis, turned out to be one of the most transformative experiences of my admittedly, young life.

Telehealth has taken off in Arizona and nationwide, and policy-makers have been scrambling to keep up. To focus on the policy issues affecting and being affected by the growth of telemedicine and telehealth, the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) hosted the inaugural Arizona Telemedicine Policy Symposium Sept. 23 in Phoenix.

ATP Director Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, and Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Robert “Bob” Burns opened the symposium, which attracted more than 120 attendees. The agenda featured an amazing lineup of policy and telehealth leaders discussing recent and exciting changes to telehealth policy and future changes needed. As the emcee, I had a front-row seat to hear about all that is happening—and there’s a lot!

You can put the word "smart" in front of just about anything these days — including an entire city. But what does it actually mean?

The concept of smart cities is incredibly exciting. Cities have always been social, cultural and productive centers of society. But the city of the future will help us work and play even smarter, commute more quickly, and make use of more advanced and affordable products and public services. That includes health care.

As the world explores what smart cities are capable of, we're seeing more ways they'll impact the telemedicine industry and vice versa. Let's take a closer look.

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