Access to care
Telehealth has the potential to improve access to care, increase patient/parent engagement with their medical home, and enhance quality of care; however, it can also magnify existing health inequities.
There are several barriers to access telehealth, including:
- Availability of smartphone or laptop
- Access to high speed internet via data plan or WiFi
- Space and privacy concerns, particularly for adolescent and/or mental health telehealth visits
- State Medicaid coverage of telehealth services
National, state, and local advocacy around these issues can help mitigate these limitations.
Partnering with Community Organizations
A significant aspect of serving vulnerable populations through telehealth includes partnering with community organizations to better provide wrap-around services. The following is an example of one of our ongoing partnerships:
WIC (Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
- Established liaisons with local and county WIC offices
- Electronic referrals system for new referrals as well as communicating concerns for existing clients (i.e. postpartum depression requiring referral to county mental health services, lactation concerns requiring IBCLC evaluation)
- Closed loop communication between WIC liaison and PCP on status of referral