Measure Development for Telehealth Platforms on National Quality Forum

National Quality Forum

Final Report | August 31, 2017

Executive Summary

Telehealth offers tremendous potential to transform the healthcare delivery system by overcoming geographical distance, enhancing access to care, and building efficiencies.1 The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”2 Although it does not represent all existing definitions for this important area of health information technology (health IT) across both the private and public sectors,3 there is a general consensus that telehealth supports a range of clinical activities…


Telehealth Platforms Spotlight: The Benefit of Asynchronous Telehealth Solutions

Featured in HIT Consultant, February 2020 | By Brooke LeVasseur, CEO of AristaMD

What is Asynchronous Telehealth?

In the pursuit of healthcare’s holy grail (efficient, effective, and high-quality care), it’s important to assess all modalities of telehealth solutions, especially asynchronous telehealth (also known as store-and-forward technology), which can provide key support to the framework of strategies to improve access, efficiency, outcomes, as well as patient and provider experience. Learn more in this deep dive on asynchronous telehealth.

Introduction to Asynchronous, or Store-and-Forward, as a Modality of Telehealth

As our healthcare system continues to innovate in order to meet demands and improve the delivery of value, various telehealth solutions have emerged and been implemented to increase efficiency, access to, and quality of care. Telehealth is a broad term encompassing “a collection of technology-based means or methods to enhance healthcare delivery and education.” As defined by the National Telehealth Resource Center, four distinct modalities of care fall under telehealth:

  • Live video conferencing (synchronous)
  • Store-and-Forward (asynchronous telehealth)
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
  • Mobile Health (mHealth)

Of particular interest is asynchronous telehealth, which is steadily gaining traction in the healthcare field.

Asynchronous telehealth is defined as the transmission of recorded health history through an electronic communications system to a practitioner, usually a specialist, who uses the information to evaluate the case or render a service outside of real-time or live interaction — thus enabling providers to access specialist input within their own workflow.

The most common form of asynchronous telehealth is eConsults, commonly used in radiology, pathology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. In ophthalmology, for instance, eye screenings for diabetic retinopathy can be captured digitally by retinal cameras and transmitted to a specialist for review.