AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine
Telemedicine’s expansion brings benefits and risks; AHRQ’s Safety Program for Telemedicine aims to improve cancer diagnoses and antibiotic use.
As the role of telemedicine in health care expands, it offers both promises and potential risks. While telemedicine provides many benefits, including reducing the burden on patients and expanding access to care, its rapid growth means many health care providers have never received formal training in using telemedicine effectively to diagnose and treat patients virtually. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is sponsoring the Safety Program for Telemedicine, which will combine evidence-based guidance with implementation strategies to improve the cancer diagnostic process and antibiotic use within telemedicine and hybrid settings.
The AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine involves two cohorts to improve cancer diagnosis and antibiotic use by providing coaching and technical assistance.
The AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine will involve two cohorts of healthcare providers who utilize telemedicine as part of their care delivery model. The first cohort focuses on improving the cancer diagnostic process and the second on antibiotic use. The program will provide participating practices with evidence-based patient safety models, individualized expert coaching, and technical assistance from physician subject matter experts. The materials will be developed by staff from NORC at the University of Chicago, the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute (JHAI).
NORC, BCM, and JHAI will publish toolkits based on cohorts’ experiences to improve cancer diagnosis and antibiotic use in telemedicine.
Using the experiences of these cohorts, NORC and our partners at BCM and JHAI will publish toolkits that will be publicly available for all medical practices. The final toolkits will include interventions to improve the cancer diagnostic process and antibiotic use within telemedicine and hybrid settings. These will help medical practices understand the science of safety and how it applies to the cancer diagnostic process and antibiotic use and improve teamwork and communication in these areas.
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