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The Perfect Telehealth (TH) Recipe: Creating A TH Program

by Dimitrios Papanagnou, MD, MPH

Our Telehealth program puts patients in control of their care. Our app and training modules thrive at Jefferson. We now want to share best practices and lessons learned to improve health globally.

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About this project

The problem we solve:
Today's market is controlled by the customer. While customers can call a cab, order dinner, and shop for groceries on phones, barriers still remain in healthcare. Healthcare can and should be equally accessible and efficient for our patients. Innovation in this area will improve patient-provider satisfaction and patient safety, as well as address failures in access to care needs. The technology already exists. What we need to do now is use this technology to address the access problem. We need to provide the infrastructure to integrate this technology into health systems and bridge patients with their providers. This way, we can improve the patient experience; the quality of care delivered; and the affordability of services. Telehealth (TH) is the way to make this happen. To date, there is no widely available ‘recipe’ to advise providers and systems on how to integrate TH as an effective and sustainable delivery platform at their respective institutions.

About our solution:
Jefferson has developed the recipe for the TH ecosystem. Despite the changing environment of healthcare, we are placing patients back at the center of the care delivery model. And just like Uber enables customers to be in control of their transportation, we enable patients to be in control of their health. We are poised to further develop and share our approach. 1) There’s an app for that. JeffConnect, our app, is the vehicle that will bridge patients with our providers. Whether it’s on-demand care or planned, scheduled care, JeffConnect enables patients to reach their providers, 24 hours a day, for all their health needs. 2) Training. We've also developed a curriculum to equip providers/staff with the skills to facilitate the TH encounter. In fact, we have proposed a new role in the care delivery team: the TH Facilitator, who will enable and support the TH encounter. Through a series of self-directed, online modules, providers can acquire skills to facilitate TH.
Progress to date: The JeffConnect program is based in the philosophy that, in an ideal world, medical advice and healthcare would be available whenever and wherever patients are sick, injured, or scared. Our innovation gives patients access to care 24/7 for all their needs, may it be a sore throat or management of chronic illness; on-demand physicians or scheduled visits with your primary doctor. The JeffConnect app is complete and in use. Our TH Facilitator Program modules are complete, and are already being used for training. TH has become a huge presence in the Jefferson system. Departments across the campus are integrating TH into the care delivery models. In the hospital, we are already use TH to connect patients and the health care team with loved ones, and to connect the healthcare team to specialists or a primary doctor to provide patients with the best care possible.

About Our Team

Dr. Dimitrios Papanagnou, MD, MPH
Emergency Medicine, Practicing Physician
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson
Bio: Dimitrios is an Emergency Medicine Physician and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Jefferson. He is the Assistant Dean for Faculty Development at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. He graduated from the New York University School of Medicine; received a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University (CU); completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the NYU / Bellevue Hospital Center; and is in the final stages of completing an EdD in education at CU.
Practice: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Hospital Affiliation: Thomas Jefferson University
Title: The Perfect Telehealth Recipe: Everything You'll Need To Assemble A Sustainable Telehealth Program
Twitter: @dmitripapa

About Team Members

Anuj Shah
Medical Student, MS-3, BA
Biography: Anuj is a 3rd-year MD student at Jefferson. Prior to medical school, he worked in healthcare strategy as a management consultant for providers, payers, and global non-profit organizations. He's founder and president of the Physician Executive Leadership Program, the largest fully student run medical school health care leadership programs in the country. He is pursuing residency in Emergency Medicine and strives to work at the intersection of business, technology, and innovation in healthcare.
Morgan Oakland
Emergency Medicine Resident, PGY-1, MD
Biography: Morgan is an Emergency Medicine resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She is interested in health care access, quality and education. She has worked both locally and internationally to improve access to healthcare and provider education. During her residency, she has enjoyed pursuing projects aimed towards better physician training and improved patient outcomes in EM. She is excited to be working on Telehealth and looks forward to further developing this technology.
Twitter: @morgan_oakland
Shruti Chandra
Medical Education Fellow and Incoming Director of Curriculum Development, MD
Biography: Shruti is a Medical Education Fellow and Faculty in the Emergency Department at Thomas Jefferson University. Shruti is an active Telehealth practitioner providing care on demand via JeffConnect. Shruti is also the co-creator and program director of the Telehealth Facilitator Program. Shruti is looking forward to continuing the expansion of Telehealth at Jefferson and broaden its scope to the rest of the world.
Judd Hollander
Associate Dean for Strategic Health Initiatives & Vice Chair for Finance and Healthcare Initiatives, MD
Biography: Dr. Hollander is Associate Dean for Strategic Health Initiatives at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and leads the JeffConnect Telemedicine Program. His clinical & academic interests focus on efficient care delivery. He published over 400 articles; is past President of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and Deputy Editor for Annals of Emergency Medicine. He won the ACEP Award for Outstanding Research (2001), the SAEM Academic Excellence Award (2003) and the SAEM Leadership Award (2011).
Neil Gomes
Vice President for Technology Innovation and Consumer Experience at Thomas Jefferson University, M.Ed., PhD
Biography: Neil is the Vice President for Technology Innovation and Consumer
 Experience at Jefferson. He worked for the
 Fortune 500 Tata Group of Companies where he played a leadership role in building Tata Interactive Systems. He completed his MEd and PhD in Instructional Design at the University of South Florida. At Jefferson, he drives technology innovation in healthcare, consumer experience and engagement, training, and education.

About Our Company

Thomas Jefferson University
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Twitter: @JeffersonUniv
Product stage: ready
Sales: Working on it
Employees: 200+

How We Help Patients

The JeffConnect program is based in the philosophy that, in an ideal world, medical advice and healthcare would be available whenever and wherever patients are sick, injured, or scared. Our innovations gives patients access to care 24/7 for all their needs, may it be a sore throat or management of chronic illness; on-demand physicians or scheduled visits with your primary doctor. In the hospital, we use TH to connect you and your health care team to your loved ones, and to connect your healthcare team to specialists or your primary doctor to provide you with the best care possible. We cater to your preferences and needs while giving you quality care to help you live healthier and more satisfied.

How We Help Education

Jefferson is combining entrepreneurial and academic initiatives to develop an innovative National Academic Center for Telehealth (NACT). NACT has created a robust training program that includes staff, students, nurses, and physicians to meet the growing demand to prepare a skilled TH workforce in the face of little competition. An extensive curriculum for fellows includes immersion into the development of TH use cases, immersion into business and informatics aspects and research studies. Medical students and residents are provided an elective in TH to learn operations through the clinical, business or research lens - training the future of medicine. Most recently, we have created a comprehensive, online, self directed curriculum - the Telehealth Facilitator Program - that is housed on Jefferson’s own cloud based system - Jefferson iCE. The goal of the program is to prepare any healthcare worker for a role in TH facilitation as part of the interprofessional healthcare team.

How We Help Physicians

Telehealth (TH) improves a physician's quality of care in virtually all settings. It helps the rural community doctor obtain a Neurology consult to decide whether to administer a clot-busting medication to a stroke patient. An ER physician can manage a sick patient in transport to her hospital. A surgeon can follow up with her postoperative patient. A family doctor can make a house call to check-in with an elderly patient. Hand-offs are even improved during transfers. ER waiting rooms can be off-loaded when patients use TH and save a trip to the ED. Experts from around the world can be virtually present in a small community hospital, at base camp on Mt. Everest, or even a spacecraft! The possibilities for TH are seemingly limitless; and we are only at the beginning of understanding its true potential. Small studies have shown fantastic success. We've created and want to share our recipe for implementing TH into health care systems across the world. We're in this together.

Challenge Mission

Mission: Telehealth (TH) will be one of the most transformative innovations for medicine globally. Our solution is aimed at supporting patients, physicians, and organizations in developing successful programs.
Use of funds: If we are fortunate to receive funding, we would allocate funds to create an interactive and immersive platform that would be openly accessible to share best practices, resources, and lessons learned for interested providers and organizations as they build sustainable TH programs in their respective sites. A curriculum would be created and continuously curated that would be immediately available to those interested. The curriculum would include, but not be limited to, practice documents, videos, tutorials, and multimedia. Furthermore, there would be the option to have live, interactive assistance from experts who have chaperoned TH to its success.
Intellectual Property Status: All intellectual properties are owned by Jefferson. There are no outside companies involved in this initiative.
FDA Status: Not applicable to our proposed initiative.
Personal Message: A terminally-ill patient was recently hospitalized. His family was on the opposite coast of the US, and could not visit him in time. His care team integrated the TH platform during rounds, and he was able to have a dialogue with his family remotely. This was the last conversation they had with him, as he died the next day. Despite their pain, they were grateful they were able to see him one last time. TH is powerful. TH is easy. TH can improve healthcare. Let's make this the standard of care!


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    05/23/2016 Shruti Chandra - Physician

    Liked the project.

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    05/21/2016 Molly Demarco - Pharmaceutical Staff

    Liked the project.

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    05/21/2016 Molly Demarco - Pharmaceutical Staff

    Interested in trying the project.

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    05/21/2016 Molly Demarco - Pharmaceutical Staff

    Followed the project.

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    05/16/2016 Dr. Dimitrios Papanagnou - Physician

    Liked the project.













Dimitrios Papanagnou, MD, MPH
The Perfect Telehealth Recipe: Everything You'll Need To Assemble A Sustainable Telehealth Program
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson

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