Local Community Group Wins Model eHealth Technology Award

  • Project Partners:
  • Lead Agency and Project Manager: Connecting to Care
  • Collaborating Partners: Tahoe Forest Health System’s Regional Cancer Center, Truckee, CA, Incline Village, NV
  • Eastern Plumas Health Care District, Portola, Indian Valley, Graeagle, Loyalton

 

Description of broadband dependent delivery of health applications advanced by this project:

The Sierra-Nevada Model eHealth Cancer Community project will leverage Tahoe Forest Health System’s comprehensive Cancer Center services to outlaying rural communities through their capacity to provide advanced information technology. This project will create streamlined, patient-friendly access to oncology consultations and follow-up ancillaries at the patient’s medical home community. These cancer eHealth services will bridge the distance between patients in rural and underserved areas with an oncologist and/or other health specialists such as palliative care or clinical psychiatry. This greatly reduces time and distance barriers for rural patients. Rural cancer patients will access enhanced quality of care serves using video and file transfer technology. Providers will be enabled to discuss and exchange information more quickly and efficiently. This will assist in the prevention, early detection, treatment and cure of cancer; and also rehabilitation in the management of cancer.

The Tahoe Forest Health System (TFHS) Cancer Center already uses technology to advance cancer cure in their community through the UC Davis Cancer Care Network program. Through the use of the Center’s Multiple Control Unit (MCU), other rural telehealth sites would benefit from connecting to continuing medical education, tumor conferences, grand rounds, case reviews, training and other eHealth services. The Cancer Center will work with UC Davis to add the project’s rural sites to the virtual tumor board project. The Cancer Center has the capability of reading and comparing diagnostic imaging studies and will provide this expertise to distant rural sites, allowing them to transmit their images to the Cancer Center for increased quality of care for cancer patients.

The outlaying rural sites have patients who are already accessing the Tahoe Forest Health System Cancer Center. This project will build on those relationships to improve the continuum of cancer care in the region allowing rural patients to receive many services via telehealth in their local communities rather than having to travel to the Cancer Center. The Tahoe Forest Health System Board of Directors and the Eastern Plumas Healthcare District Board of Directors are actively collaborating to improve access to services and care in the region across additional needed specialty care not available in Plumas and Sierra Counties.

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