Operations and Implementation
EP-144 - Meeting Current & Future Workforce Training Needs Through a Telehealth Education Ecosystem
Tuesday, May 1
11:35 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Education Zone, Booth 2416, Screen 4
S. McSwain, MD MPH
Associate Professor, Medical Director for Telehealth Optimization
Medical University of South Carolina
Mary Mauldin, EdD
Professor and Executive Director of the Office of Instructional Technology and Faculty Resources, Assoc. Director for Education, Office of Interprofessional Initiatives
Medical University of South Carolina
As telehealth services are extended throughout the healthcare delivery system, administrators are finding that training and certification initiatives are emerging as natural requirements for practicing professionals as well as trainees in most health professions degree programs. At the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), an educational ecosystem has been implemented to demonstrate the concepts of telehealth for trainees and certify that all providers have the proper foundation of knowledge to deliver telehealth care. Interventions include a semester-long interprofessional course that provides teams of students from MUSC's 6 colleges with an overview of telehealth and a focus on population health opportunities. Even though telehealth is becoming more common, three-years of cohort data shows no statistically significant changes in the students' baseline knowledge of telehealth principles. Post-test results for all cohorts show significant improvement in students' knowledge of telehealth history, ability to explain how current telehealth applications have contributed to healthcare and determination of how telehealth improves quality of care and communication among providers. Students' career outlooks were altered through their exposure to telehealth concepts, with students stating: "Through telehealth, I can function as an oral health expert and become a member of a larger team that has one common goal-to provide patient-centered care"; "I now realize that my role in any sort of provision of care is to utilize all possible aspects of technology in healthcare to ensure that the population and individuals receive phenomenal care"; and "Utilizing interprofessional techniques similar to those seen in telehealth models reinforces my belief that additional perspectives and incorporation of different healthcare professionals will always provide better health outcomes". Similar success and high-levels of engagement have been seen in interventions for residents that span multiple years. Curriculum is tailored to meet residents at their levels of practice with 1st-years getting high-level overviews, 2nd-years engaging in an online didactic course and 3rd-years shadowing and demonstrating proficiency with telehealth services. Residents plan to pay it forward and "use [the course] to train fellow physicians and support staff". Similarly, continuing education models have been developed for practicing providers who need certification for privileging and credentialing. Through a combination of online and in-person experiences, providers are required to demonstrate proficiency in basic telehealth concepts as well as in equipment and processes specific to their disciplines and program areas. Similar types of interventions are in development with community and academic partners across the state that include the integration of telehealth simulation activities and shared evaluation metrics. The faculty members responsible for the ongoing development of these initiatives view telehealth education as a lifelong process that draws upon current best practices and helps to inform future practice, research and training efforts. Programs in South Carolina have been developed specifically to address state, federal and institutional requirements that currently exist or might be mandated. Outcomes from the current telehealth education ecosystem at MUSC demonstrate how telehealth programs can meet evolving requirements for the provision of telehealth services while fostering a new generation of telehealth empowered providers.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to identify the federal, state and institutional mandates driving the adoption of formal training and certification programs.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to explain ways that academic and community organizations can partner to speed the development and dissemination of interventions that are discipline and setting appropriate.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to implement the development of telehealth training and certification programs that support team-based care across populations.