News

Arizona Telemedicine Program Rapidly Responds to Coronavirus Pandemic

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. – As our state, nation and world confront the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, ever-increasing numbers of individuals and families are self-isolating to help lessen the spread of the dangerous new disease. But these individuals still require access to health-care services, especially if they manifest symptoms of the novel coronavirus. 

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. (Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS) In response, the University of Arizona Health Sciences’ internationally renowned Arizona Telemedicine Program is training health-care providers, administrators and educators to establish telemedicine services that allow medical experts to quickly evaluate and diagnose patients who may be separated geographically from those providers. This technology allows patients to avoid travel, but still receive first-rate medical care.  

Indeed, telemedicine provides an ideal means to offer certain types of patient care during the coronavirus pandemic, and health-care and industry leaders throughout the state and nation are turning to the longstanding Arizona Telemedicine Program to help them rapidly “ramp up” their telemedicine capabilities, said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, FCAP, a pioneer in telehealth services and founder and director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program, now in its 23rd year. 

Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founder and director, Arizona Telemedicine Program“Keeping people with mild or non-flu-like symptoms out of health-care settings is very important,” Dr. Weinstein noted. 

To expedite this process, the program has revamped its upcoming regularly scheduled major telemedicine training event, “Developing Telemedicine Services,” Monday, March 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., from an “in-person” event (held simultaneously in Phoenix and Tucson) to an online, full-day course, featuring national leaders in the field of telemedicine.  

The program will be offered by webinar and you can register at: telemedicine.arizona.edu. A recording of the webinar will be archived at telemedicine.arizona.edu/webinars/previous

The Telemedicine program has been conducting in-person training sessions in Tucson and Phoenix for the past 20 years; this marks its first fully online training program. “Obviously, this will open the session to a far larger audience,” Dr. Weinstein said. 

Arizona Telemedicine ProgramThe general course attracts nurses, physicians, senior health-care executives, rural hospital CEOs and experts from the information technology sector, among other professionals interested in telehealth. “We go through a nine-step procedure regarding how to create a telemedicine program,” Dr. Weinstein added. “We’ve trained more than 1,000 people from hundreds of health-care organizations through the years.” 

NEWS EDITORS PLEASE NOTEDr. Weinstein and Stephen A. Klotz, MD, Arizona Telemedicine Program medical director and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, are available to discuss how telemedicine technology can serve an integral patient-care role as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. To arrange interviews in the program’s clinic at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, please contact George Humphrey, ghumphre@email.arizona.edu

CONFERENCE DETAILS: The conference webinar is free of charge. To register visit: www.telemedicine.arizona.edu For more information, please contact Kris Erps, kerps@telemedicine.arizona.edu. Some highlighted topics include: 

9 a.m. Online Check-In and Introductory Comments
9:15 a.m.  Building a Successful Telemedicine Program, Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, Founder and Director, Arizona Telemedicine Program, UArizona Health Sciences, and president-emeritus, American Telemedicine Association
10 a.m. Telemedicine Applications that Work: Opportunities and Barriers, Dr. Weinstein. 
10:55 a.m. COVID-19 Management Using Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine, Kevin Stephan, MD, FAC, eInfectionMD Inc., Phoenix 
11:35 a.m. Case Study: A Successful Tele-Infectious Disease Practice, Stephen A. Klotz, MD, Medical Director, Arizona Telemedicine Program 
1:15 p.m. Evaluation and Assessment in Telemedicine, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Radiology and Imaging Science, Emory University, Atlanta, and past-President, American Telemedicine Association
2 p.m. Legal, Regulatory and Payment Issues and Opportunities, Nancy Rowe, Associate Director for Outreach and Public Policy, Arizona Telemedicine Program
2:30 p.m. The Business Aspects of Telemedicine and e-Health, Gail Barker, PhD, Co-Director for finance, Arizona Telemedicine Program
3 p.m. Practical Advice for COVID-19, Megan Crosser, MPH, CIC, eInfectionMD Inc., Phoenix

### 

Program Contact:  
Ronald S. Weinstein 
rweinstein@telemedicine.arizona.edu  

NOTE: Photos and images available upon request. 

About the Arizona Telemedicine Program 
Established in 1996 by the Arizona State Legislature, the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) – based at the University of Arizona Health Sciences – is funded by state and federal grants and membership fees to promote telemedicine services, training and facility development throughout the region. The ATP and its subsidiaries, the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) and the T-Health Institute at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix, offer a variety of resources and services to help organizations launch their telemedicine programs, add additional services and capacity and maintain operations. For more information: telemedicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn). 

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

Original Story Link: