New Tools from ATA to Assess Digital Infrastructure and Support Telehealth Interventions

New Tools from ATA to Assess Digital Infrastructure and Support Telehealth Interventions

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has unveiled new tools designed to help decision-makers address healthcare disparities and improve the health of communities through telehealth-based interventions. Developed under the guidance of ATA’s Advisory Group on Using Telehealth to Eliminate Disparities and Inequities, these tools aim to target and fund interventions that tackle the economic burden of inaction.

The Disparities Advisory Group Toolkit includes a Digital Infrastructure Disparities Score and Map, which measures a community’s digital infrastructure on a scale from 1 to 100. This tool can provide insights into the areas that require improvements to support telehealth services. Furthermore, an Economic and Social Value-Added Calculator helps estimate the cost and value of telehealth-based interventions, considering factors such as capital and operating costs of telehealth technology platforms and broadband connectivity.

According to Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the ATA, these tools go beyond a traditional return on investment framework to include economic and social values. The aim is to ensure that everyone can access the care they need, recognizing telehealth as a critical modality. Kristi Henderson, CEO of Confluent Health and Chair of the ATA Board of Directors, emphasized that the tools build on existing frameworks and advance efforts to eliminate healthcare disparities.

The release of these tools coincides with Telehealth Awareness Week, a yearly event that highlights the role of telehealth in expanding access to quality care and addressing challenges faced by healthcare providers. The recent passage of the Telehealth Expansion Act of 2023 demonstrates the government’s commitment to health equity and addressing social determinants of health. Telehealth’s permanent access can offer tailored solutions to populations lacking quality resources.

The ATA’s new tools are a groundbreaking step in assessing digital infrastructure and estimating the cost of telehealth interventions. They provide decision-makers and stakeholders with critical insights to allocate resources effectively and improve healthcare outcomes. As telehealth continues to play a crucial role in healthcare delivery, initiatives like these are vital to eliminating healthcare disparities and achieving health equity.

– American Telemedicine Association
– Healthcare IT News

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