Expanding telemedicine to medical homes for comprehensive care delivery.

Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. By leveraging telemedicine, patients with bleeding disorders who live in remote areas can overcome distance, geographical barriers, inclement weather, costs, and transfers to access the multidisciplinary care they need.

Comprehensive multidisciplinary services delivered through HTCs has revolutionized care for persons with bleeding disorders and is a model for care of other chronic diseases. One of the four projects of national significance funded by the NHPCC is the Michigan State University Hemophilia Treatment Center pilot project to evaluate the extension of telemedicine services to a rural area, the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGLHC) that is a medical home in the twin cities of Hancock/Houghton, Michigan.

The project evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of telemedicine for connecting medical homes and hematologists for patients with bleeding disorders. The pilot project showed a significant cost savings, both in terms of cost of travel and time away from work. Additionally, patients who utilized the telemedicine approach to care indicated a high level satisfaction with telemedicine. Project lead: Roshni Kulkarni, MD