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ePoster Presentations

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.

Learning Objectives:

Stephanie Deaner

Telehealth Program Manager
VA

Stephanie Deaner, PhD, is the VISN 12 Telehealth Program Manager for VHA since 2012. In this role, she is responsible for the development, coordination, and management of virtual care programs for 8 complex healthcare centers and nearly 40 community based outpatient clinics in the Midwest. Dr. Deaner oversees telemedicine program implementation at VA Medical Centers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Dr. Deaner is a licensed psychologist. She earned a doctor of philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. Throughout her training, Dr. Deaner was active with research, authoring several professional publications. She co-authored two chapters for a book published in Spain.
Originally a native of central Pennsylvania, she currently resides with her husband, two children and dog in the suburbs of Chicago. She is active in her community, having served in leadership roles in local educational organizations. She spends her free time cheering her children in athletic events and enjoys exercise.

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