Toward the development of national telehealth services: the role of Veterans Health Administration and future directions for research.
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The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has emerged as a national and international leader in the delivery and research of telehealth-based treatment. Several unique characteristics of care in VA settings intersect to create an ideal environment for telehealth modalities and research. However, the value of telehealth experience and initiatives in VA settings is limited if telehealth strategies cannot be widely exported to other public or private systems. Whereas a hierarchical organization, such as VA, can innovate and fund change relatively quickly based on provider and patient preferences and a growing knowledge base, other health provider organizations and third-party payers may likely require replicable scientific findings over time before incremental investments will be made to create infrastructure, reform regulatory barriers, and amend laws to accommodate expansion of telehealth modalities. Accordingly, large-scale scientifically rigorous telehealth research in VHA settings is essential not only to investigate the efficacy of existing and future telehealth practices in VHA, but also to hasten the development of telehealth infrastructure in private and other public health settings. We propose an expanded partnership between the VA, NIH, and other funding agencies to investigate creative and pragmatic uses of telehealth technology. To this end, we identify six specific areas of research we believe to be particularly relevant to the efficient development of telehealth modalities in civilian and military contexts outside VHA.
SubjectDiffusion of Innovation
Health Services Research
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1089/tmj.2009.0144
Publication InfoAcierno, R; Bosworth, Hayden Barry; Fortney, J; Frueh, BC; Ruggiero, KJ; Tuerk, PW; & Wakefield, B (2010). Toward the development of national telehealth services: the role of Veterans Health Administration and future directions for research. Telemed J E Health, 16(1). pp. 115-117. 10.1089/tmj.2009.0144. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3294.
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Professor in Population Health Sciences
Dr. Bosworth is a health services research and Associate Director of the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides