May 2021
Pivot to Telehealth Expanded Access, Services at DPH
Telehealth was being used by the Department of Public Health on a regular basis pre-pandemic, logging 3,573 meeting minutes during the first two months of 2020. And then COVID-19 struck, and everything changed, explained Suleima Salgado, MBA/ Director of Telehealth, Telemedicine, Rural Health Initiatives, and Project ECHO, Department of Public Health (DPH).

Speaking at the March GaHIN/DCH webinar, Salgado detailed the sweeping transformation that allowed the Department to provide telehealth access for a wide range of specialty services to rural and underserved areas.

"Almost overnight, we went from our normal in clinic and telemedicine consultations to remote patient care," she said. "In the past, we had home visits for important programs like Babies Can't Wait, but we moved those to televisits. Our therapists have benefitted from seeing patients in their natural environments and having parents involved with things like their children's speech therapy."

The Department:
  • Expanded existing telehealth platform to allow for external clients/staff to join virtually from non-DPH locations (Cisco Meeting App and WebEx)
  • Converted 85% of contracted clinicians from in person to telemedicine providers
  • Trained over 2,000 clinicians on new telehealth platforms and resources
  • Purchased and equipped approximately 50 mobile telemedicine solutions to be deployed, as needed, into districts for COVID response efforts
  • Responded to over 2,500 inquiries from clinicians on Georgia Telemedicine rules/regulations

Register on the DCH website to view a recording of the 30-minute webinar.

Following is a comparison showing the dramatic use in telehealth utilization by the Department.
Webinar: The Role of Public Health in Everyday and Extraordinary Times - 5/26/21
Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease,” prolonging life and improving quality of life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health has taken on greater importance in collecting and disseminating data and addressing the spread of infectious diseases, but the daily functions around education, research and response continue. Hear about how Georgia’s public health agency, the Department of Public Health, is working to keep Georgians healthy.
May Update on New Tech 21 Project
GaHIN and Velatura are completing the Discovery phase of the new technology platform implementation and beginning work on initial implementation activities.

A new development in the past month has been the announcement by IBM's attorneys that they could not assign the GaHIN Master Member Agreement to Velatura. Members have been sent a new Master Member Agreement with only one change - the name on the Agreement is now Velatura instead of IBM/Truven.

Members must sign the agreement to allow their patient data to be exchanged on the Network, and the agreement must be in place prior to Velatura importing a member's data. In order to meet the Summer launch date, members are being asked to return the signed Agreements as quickly as possible and GaHIN leadership and attorneys are standing by to answer any questions.

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