Blizzard offered Massachusetts General Hospital an ideal test environment for telehealth program

Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital used a snowstorm in 2014 to test their newly established telehealth program, according to a MobiHealthNews report.

Marcy Simoni, senior program manager for telehealth at the hospital, discussed the details of that testing at the recent mHealth and Telehealth World Conference in Boston. The blizzard that hit in late 2014 caused the city to close down for days. The hospital used that time to train providers to conduct visits remotely.

Since then, the hospital has gleaned more lessons, including understanding the importance of measuring a telehealth program's progress, Initially, the hospital tracked just billing codes and satisfaction surveys, but now it starting to track more metrics, said Ms. Simoni.

Additionally, the hospital is working to increase provider adoption. It has instituted a test call to help providers get familiar with the system and included a survey to help providers document any technological issues, according to the report.

The hospital has found the telehealth program to be most useful in providing behavioral health and psychiatric care.

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