I witnessed a different use for a telehealth connection a while back that I thought I'd share with you. As you might know, medical and nursing schools do a lot of training with simulators. The sims are very accurate mannequins that can mimic patient signs, symptoms, sounds and even the feel of a patient. They're very helpful for hands-on learning. I've recently seen two really cool demonstrations of using the sims with telehealth. One of our Idaho members is doing sim training from a 'home base' and using telehealth to connect with providers. The sim is at the provider end and the trainers are at the home location. The trainers take the remote providers through a series of scenarios and train not only how to use telehealth, but also how to care for patients with uncommon ailments. And a Montana network is doing something similar with infant simulators. They're training Critical Access Hospital emergency room staff to care for children with serious health threats. The value in these trainings is that the staff at the remote end learn how to use telehealth and get to know the specialists who will be providing care. And, they learn that they can get the help they need through the connection, so their confidence levels in treating seldom-seen situations rises. That's good for the staff, of course, but it's even better for the patients they may see in the future.
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