Building a Better Telehealth Experience

satellite over earth

Telehealth has become an integral part of the corrections environment.

Telehealth, the provision of health care services through online platforms, has become an integral part of the corrections environment, bringing about numerous benefits for patients, physicians, and staff. While the positive impact is undeniable, there are challenges that need to be addressed. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Managed Care team is at the forefront of pioneering efficient and cost-effective telehealth solutions that guarantee the same level of health care quality, both online and in person.

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, utilizes electronic information and telecommunications technologies to bridge the gap between providers and patients who are not physically present in the same location. By leveraging telehealth, inmate health care can be delivered with quality while effectively managing costs. Furthermore, it reduces the need for resource-intensive and potentially hazardous inmate transportation, as well as alleviating the burden of recruiting and retaining on-site health care providers in corrections facilities.

To ensure successful telehealth experiences, both patients and providers require appropriate technology. Deploying telehealth equipment across a wide range of locations necessitates a cost-effective strategy. Moreover, the rural and remote nature of corrections units often leads to limited access to high-speed internet. TTUHSC Managed Care is dedicated to improving broadband connectivity and enhancing the overall telehealth experience.

Reducing the Cost of Telehealth

TTUHSC Managed Care has taken an approach that prioritizes inclusivity by avoiding dependence on specific vendors or proprietary equipment. The commitment to HIPAA compliance and technology agnosticism enables seamless integration of various telecommunications platforms. The plug-and-play nature of the telecommunications infrastructure further facilitates efficient deployment and scalability. By developing compliant in-house telehealth carts, TTUHSC can customize their telehealth tools to meet the specific needs of patients and providers, reducing costs and increasing access to care within the corrections environment.

Continual Telehealth Advancements

TTUHSC Managed Care recognizes the challenge posed by limited internet access in rural and remote locations and has made substantial investments in expanding bandwidth infrastructure. Significant initiatives have been undertaken to address this issue, including investments in expanding and improving existing broadband infrastructure. TTUHSC has forged partnerships with prominent organizations such as The Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), enabling collaborative efforts and strategic investments to enhance network capabilities. Additionally, TTUHSC has implemented a robust data backup integrator system to ensure the integrity and security of the network infrastructure.

While progress has been made, TTUHSC acknowledges that the greatest challenge lies in ensuring reliable and high-speed internet connectivity. To overcome this, TTUHSC is extending fiber optic lines to rural areas, thereby expanding telehealth capabilities. Through these infrastructure investments, TTUHSC strives to improve internet access for individuals in remote and underserved communities.

In conclusion, TTUHSC Managed Care recognizes the urgent need for adequate bandwidth in rural and remote locations. Through substantial investments, strategic partnerships, and advanced infrastructure implementation, TTUHSC is committed to addressing the limitation of internet access in these areas. By taking these measures, TTUHSC Managed Care aims to enhance connectivity and promote equitable access to health care and educational resources for all individuals, regardless of their geographical location.

"TTUHSC Managed Care has made a commitment to invest in telehealth infrastructure, ensuring that every patient, regardless of their geographic location, can access health care."

Hall, D. M., Associate Managing Director – Information Technology, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center – Managed Care.

What is TTUHSC Managed Care?

TTUHSC Managed Care is a nationally recognized leader in correctional health care, delivering high-quality medical services to over 30,000 adult patients throughout Texas. With 23 facilities located in 18 geographical sites across the state, TTUHSC partners with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and local communities to provide comprehensive health care solutions. The dedicated team of over 1,000 employees includes professionals in health care, mental health, administration, dental care and more. TTUHSC Managed Care offers rewarding career opportunities and a dynamic work environment that values teamwork, collaboration, and excellence. To learn more about career opportunities and join the TTUHSC Managed Care team, visit the TTUHSC website.

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