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Of all our project areas, perhaps the fastest growing is our regional telehealth initiative.

 

Work began in early 2009 when FDRHPO created the North Country Telemedicine Project (NCTP), and extensive fiber-optic network that connected more than 25 healthcare facilities in Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, and St. Lawrence counties, including Fort Drum's Guthrie Ambulatory Healthcare Clinic.

This network expanded in 2011, when FDRHPO partnered with the Adirondack-Champlain Telemedicine Information Network (ACTION) to create a second network encompassing sites in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties — as well as Chittenden County in Vermont.

Funding for these programs was made available by the Federal Communication Commission’s “Rural Healthcare Pilot Program,” “Healthcare Connect Fund” and the New York State Department of Health’s “HEAL 21” grant. Today, FDRHPO’s telemedicine program remains funded by the Department of Health, as one of its Rural Health Development Programs.

Our network spans 12 counties across Northern and Central New York, as well as Chittenden County in Vermont. Click the image to enlarge and view our interactive map!

In 2015, FDRHPO began a collaboration with the Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) to form the North Country Telehealth Partnership — a unified effort to plan and implement telemedicine throughout the 12-county catchment area, covering northern and central New York. This collaborative has quickly become Northern New York’s leading group focused on increasing access to healthcare through the innovative use of telehealth and telemedicine technology.

Our Telehealth Projects

Using technology and resources made available by the North Country Telehealth Partnership, providers throughout Northern New York have applied telemedicine across the healthcare spectrum, including:

  • Child, Adolescent & Adult Telepsychiatry/Telepsychology

  • Remote Patient Monitoring

  • TeleWound Care

  • TeleStroke

  • Diabetic TeleRetinopathy

  • TeleNeurology

Our Partners

To keep our community informed and help answer questions about telehealth, we bring together stakeholders from across the state for a bi-monthly videoconference. This group, called the Telehealth Learning Collaborative, includes more than 130 individuals from upwards of 90 organizations. They represent the following site types

  • Hospitals

  • Health Centers

  • Telemedicine Associations

  • Public Health Agencies

  • Legislative/Political Bodies

  • Insurance Agencies

  • Independent Physicians

  • Educational Institutions

  • ... and more!

Why does telehealth matter?

Telemedicine is convenient
Telemedicine saves time! Not only does telemedicine save people from taking time from work to travel to and from appointments, it also reduces long wait times associated with in-person visits. These time savers contribute to improved patient satisfaction. Telemedicine also saves time for providers, while increasing efficiency and care coordination, which helps to reduce provider stress and burnout. 
 

Telemedicine is preventative
Telemedicine allows for greater access to preventative care, which can improve clinical outcomes, saving patients from potentially serious health issues and expensive procedures, thus reducing the overall cost of healthcare.
 

Telemedicine expands access
As a result of improved access and increased communication with providers, telemedicine improves patient compliance (adherence), increases access to specialty care, and can keep patients connected to providers during periods of isolation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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