EP-100 - Improving Access to Prosthetics and Orthotics Through Telemedicine at Midwestern VA Medical Centers
Sunday, April 29
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: Education Zone, Booth 2416, Screen 1
VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) in the Midwest are striving to provide a full range of specialty telehealth services to Veterans. One of these specialty areas is Prosthetics and Orthotics. TeleProsthetics and Orthotics is the evaluation, fabrication, and custom fitting of artificial limbs and orthopedic braces in situations where the Veteran and provider are separated by distance. Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn have a high portion of amputations and joint pain. The ability to provide medical care to these Veterans at their preferred location is paramount given their ambulation challenges.
Growth of TeleProsthetics and Orthotics has been hindered by the "hands-on" approach in which clinicians believe that it is not possible to evaluate or treat patients without being able to touch them. However, this way of thinking and treatment approach is being challenged and slowly being extinguished using new technologies. TeleProsthetics and Orthotics is now being considered as an exciting alternative model of care that can assist patients in gaining their ultimate functional outcome.
Veterans residing in rural areas can greatly benefit from the growth of TeleProsthetics and Orthotics. In addition to mobility issues, many have socioeconomic factors that affect their ability to receive needed care. Moreover, many live in areas that are void of Prosthetic providers. The results are that this population often have decreased access to care and possibly decreased quality of care.
The Midwestern VAMCs are a pioneer of TeleProsthetics and Orthotics. For over half a decade, the Midwestern VAMCs have been a national leader in the VA for the number of Veterans served by TeleProsthetics and Orthotics. In the Midwest, TeleProsthetics and Orthotics program was initiated in 2012, and a handful of patients was seen at the VAMCs in Wisconsin. The Teleaudiology program has expanded and is conducted at VAMCs in Madison, Tomah, and Milwaukee, WI as well as the VAMC in Danville, IL. The TeleProsthetics and Orthotics program has exponentially grown from 16 patients in 2012 to over 650 patients in 2017.
This poster presentation will focus on the necessary tools for a successful TeleProsthetics and Orthotics program. It will discuss equipment, staff training, quality management, and data driven outcomes, including rurality and patient satisfaction, with a focus on practical applications and lessons learned.
- Implement a successful Prosthetics and Orthotics program through Telemedicine
- Describe the benefits of TeleProsthetics and Orthotics as it relates to patient satisfaction and reaching rural Veterans
- Demonstrate relevance of lessons learned through Prosthetics and Orthotics Telemedicine program