Virginia’s State Office of Rural Health has actively sought and received grant funding to implement and expand telehealth throughout. The Office views telehealth as part of a model of care that has far reaching implications.
For the past five years, the OHE has led the design and development of telehealth systems in the Commonwealth through its formation and leadership of the Virginia Telehealth Network (VTN). Established in 2002, VTN was established as a volunteer consortium of professionals from across the state representing a range of domains and stakeholder groups from private/public organizations. The mission is to advance the adoption, implementation and integration of information and telecommunications technologies into mainstream health systems statewide to improve access to quality healthcare for all Virginians.
Currently, VTN operates under the auspices of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and strives for seamless interoperability between telehealth providers, their services and remote sites through the promotion of standards in three areas:
- Business standards to ensure common operating agreements, to facilitate the sharing of resources and services between organizations, and to unencumber reimbursement/payment processes
- Operational standards that enable health care providers to deliver services to patients using standardized templates/clinical formats to ensure quality of service
- Technical standards to ensure seamless hardware and software compatibility and connectivity
In 2007, Virginia was one of 16 states to receive the federal FLEX Critical Access Hospital- Health Information Technology Network Implementation Grant. The primary objective of this initiative is to improve the availability and use of health information technology within Critical Access Hospitals and the regional hospitals that support them in efforts to improve the health outcomes of rural populations—specifically as it relates to the prevention and treatment of stroke and related co-morbidities. Read more.
For more information about Virginia’s Telehealth Network, contact Division of Primary Care and Rural Health Director, Heather Anderson