Benefits and Challenges of Delivering Tele-rehabilitation Services to Rural Veterans.
Veterans residing in underserved rural areas face many barriers to accessing high-quality rehabilitation services. This article describes the benefits and challenges of using technology for delivery of rehabilitation services to rural Veterans using TeleHOME, an innovative tele-rehabilitation program. TeleHOME enables rehabilitation providers to remotely assess the Veteran's functional abilities and needs in his or her own home where these tasks must be performed. This technology increases the ability of all team members to contribute to interdisciplinary care, but also requires greater levels of team integration. One month after the completion of the TeleHOME project, we met with clinicians to discuss their perceptions of whether and how use of the technology affected interdisciplinary care processes, and what approaches were used to meet team-based goals. TeleHOME can improve access to rehabilitation services for rural Veterans, but will also bring about novel integrative care processes that may improve the effectiveness of such services. Recommendations to overcome challenges to optimize the implementation and delivery of TeleHOME services as well as to better inform clinicians working with rural Veterans are discussed.
Cary, MP; Spencer, M; Carroll, A; Hand, DH; Amis, K; Karan, E; Cannon, RF; Morgan, MS; Hoenig, HM
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