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A Rural Telehealth Network: Integrating Care and Caring
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA) (2009)
  • Lynn D. Woodhouse, Georgia Southern University
  • Alison J. Scott, Georgia Southern University
  • Nandi Marshall, Georgia Southern University
  • Heather Mayer, Georgia Southern University
  • Diane Watson, Georgia Department of Public Health
In 2000 the Southeast Telehealth Network (STN) was launched through a rural GA local public health district. Over the last 8 years the STN has grown exponentially in size (hardware and terminals) and in the range of services. This presentation reviews the findings of an intrinsic case study of the STN conducted to document the process of development, successes, challenges and lessons learned. The case study methods included document review (grant requests and reports), interviews and a time line (1994 - 2008). Ten in depth interviews were conducted with physicians, STN Director, IT staff, clinic supervisors, nurses integrating WIC services, nutrition education and breastfeeding consultants. Earlier evaluations demonstrated the STN is cost effective. The content and context analysis in this study confirmes that the STN is responsive. The availability of the network continually increases capacity for and continuity of specialty medical care and health education for rural and diverse families, including those with special needs children. Clients are learning unique facts about their own health. Women four hours away from support are getting nearly immediate breastfeeding consultation. WIC families get their nutrition education on demand. Teachable moments are created and utilized. The STN has been responsive to community needs. As public health and medical care professionals examine how to integrate their data on electronic networks to contain costs, improve medical outcomes and support effective and efficient public health assessment, unique networks like the STN could be considered as potential bridges for developing the necessary "connections."
  • Rural,
  • Telehealth network,
  • Integrating,
  • Care,
  • Caring
Publication Date
November 11, 2009
Philadelphia, PA
Citation Information
Lynn D. Woodhouse, Alison J. Scott, Nandi Marshall, Heather Mayer, et al.. "A Rural Telehealth Network: Integrating Care and Caring" American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA) (2009)
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