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The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in person for a number of years, and eventually making the shift to telepsychiatry, I have observed the subtle differences and nuances between the two mediums of care.

In my experience, telepsychiatry can be particularly powerful when working with children and teens. I had one experience with a 15-year-old adolescent who was admitted to the hospital for the fourth time with continued severe abdominal pain that could not be attributed to a medical cause. The hospital staff was puzzled, as the diagnostic tests did not show any signs of ailments and there were no physical afflictions present in the child. Interestingly enough, the teen had already been evaluated by another psychiatrist at the hospital, who was unable to get the teen to “open up.”

Looking back over 2017, we see a lot of reasons to be thankful. We want to share them with you, our friends and colleagues. You’re a big part of why we are thankful this year.

Here are some of the others:

  • In the March 14 edition of the journal Circulation, the American Heart Association published a Scientific Statement affirming the use of telemedicine in pediatric cardiology. “In most cases, the potential advantages of telemedicine in pediatric cardiology are numerous, including improving access to care, improving quality and saving lives,” the heart association stated. “In addition, this appears to be occurring with enhanced patient and practitioner satisfaction and cost-efficient medicine.”
  • In April, the FDA approved telepathology for primary pathology diagnoses. Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), invented the technology 30 years earlier.

Among all the challenges that accompany a diagnosis of colon, rectal, or bladder cancer, learning to live with an ostomy can be the most difficult.

Now, the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), The University of Arizona, and three other institutions – the University of Pennsylvania, the City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute, and Yale University – are taking part in a randomized clinical trial to see if telehealth can be effective in helping ostomy patients adjust to the lifestyle changes they face.

Key Breakout: the Arizona Telemedicine Program’s 2017 Telehealth Technology Update

Information is power, and the power of health information will be on display at the 10th annual Health Current Summit & Trade Show, The Power of Fully Informed Health, Oct. 30-31 in Glendale, Ariz. Health Current, Arizona’s statewide health information exchange (HIE) – formerly known as Arizona Health-e Connection – has been the nation’s fastest growing HIE over the past two years.

Today, with more than 350 participating organizations, Health Current has clinical data on 7.5 million unique patients and includes more than 80 of the state’s largest behavioral health providers and most Arizona hospitals.

I recently had the honor to serve on a panel for the newly incorporated city of Stonecrest, Ga.; a long way from the Southwest, but you’d be surprised at the number of commonalities between the Southeast and Southwest regions of the country.

Ignore geography and weather – if you can – and think about demographics and population. Both regions have large states with significant portions that are very rural. Both regions also have large minority populations that live in both rural and urban sectors, and often have limited access to healthcare for a variety of reasons. They also have large populations that suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease that often go uncontrolled due in part to lack of ready access to healthcare and health education services.

Enter telemedicine.

A Training Session for Healthcare Professionals
Flagstaff Medical Center - Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

 The Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) are offering “Advances in Telemedicine and Telehealth,” a full-day training for healthcare providers and administrators, Nov. 3, at the Flagstaff Medical Center’s McGee Auditorium.

Experts from around Arizona will share their experiences in delivering a variety of telehealth and telemedicine programs to rural communities throughout the state.

“We are proud that Arizona is a national leader in telemedicine,” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founding director of the ATP. “This training program features leaders in Arizona who are taking center stage in telemedicine nationally.”

GlobalMed, a world leader in developing innovative telemedicine and telehealth technology and equipment, will be the lead sponsor of the national Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPS), being held in Phoenix, Oct. 2-3.

“All of us at GlobalMed are honored to be the Conference Partner of the 2017 SPS event,” said Joel E. Barthelemy, founder and CEO of the company.

“We believe SPS is one of the premier gatherings for thought leaders driving the needed changes in the delivery of healthcare.”


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