Telehealth

Nevada State Office of Rural Health

Telehealth provides rural and frontier communities in Nevada with expanded access to healthcare they otherwise wouldn't receive because of the distance to urban locations. Telehealth uses video technology to link physicians with patients and educators with students and professionals. This program, which has developed over the last 20 years, has become the missing link to increasing health and healthcare in Nevada.

The Telehealth program originally began as a connection to rural sites through telephones, U.S. mail service and fax machines. The program previously known as CAMIL (Computerized Assistance Medical Information Link), received practitioner requests for medical literature and the School of Medicine Library service provided the medical resources back to the rural community. Evolving with technology, the system eventually added the Nevada Telecommunications Network to serve the needs of education, administration and telemedicine services.

Telehealth Today

The Telehealth program now provides compressed video technology to support administrative uses of health care practitioners, facilities and organizations. Additionally, continuing education courses are broadcast between 56 community sites throughout the state. The system provides opportunities for telemedicine so that rural and frontier patients can be seen virtually by a practitioner in a comfortable environment, without having to travel long distances from home.

Program Statistics and Outcome Measures

Telehealth technology provides support for:

  • 200-300 academic activities; 100-250 statewide meetings
  • Specialty consults for rural Nevadan's ranging between 94 — 126 hours of contact time with University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine physicians
  • Between 70 — 180 classes and training programs
  • Transport of the rural tele-radiology program; approximately 200,000 — 400,000 images a month for rural hospitals

Weekly Telemedicine Sessions

The Nevada Telehealth program offers weekly telemedicine sessions for psychiatry and pediatric services. These telemedicine sessions allow patients in rural locations across Nevada to be seen immediately when they have the need and gives support to the community when they need it. Technical assistance is available to help set up clinic exam rooms with telehealth technology and for maintenance of existing equipment. This greatly reduces the burden on physicians and patients adding greater efficiency to telemedicine appointments.