GNYHA recently hosted “Telehealth Fundamentals,” the first program in a multipart series on various telehealth topics. The program featured telehealth experts who covered telehealth basics, including definitions and technical and operational structures.

Northeast Telehealth Resource Center Senior Program Manager Andrew Solomon discussed implementation strategies, legal and operational considerations, and the basic ways telehealth is delivered: live video (or synchronous), store-and-forward technologies (or asynchronous), and remote patient monitoring.

Stony Brook Medicine Telehealth Director and Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer Kimberly Noel, MD, discussed telehealth oversight and intra-hospital collaborations from a health system perspective. She noted that COVID-19 changed telehealth in terms of practice, regulations, and definitions. Dr. Noel also described how, in less than 10 days, the Stony Brook Health System saw a seven- to tenfold increase in telehealth volume, with system residents conducting 1,078 telehealth visits with patients since March.

Mount Sinai Health System Director of Teleconsults and Associate Medical Information Officer Sophia Saleem, MD, focused on telehealth in the ambulatory and specialty care environment. She noted that an ambulatory telehealth strategy should provide patients with convenience and allow for assessment of the patient’s environment. The strategy should also include communication with family members or caregivers, maintenance of chronic care management, time for conversation and education/coordination, and the creation of new access points to increase market share for the health system.

Future programs in the series will cover legal and regulatory issues, billing and reimbursement, and telehealth’s role in academic medicine.