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The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”

Telehealth supports a range of clinical activities, including:

  • Enhancing interactions among providers to improve patient care (for example, consultation with distant specialists by the direct care provider);
  • Supporting provider-to-provider training;
  • Enhancing service capacity and quality (for example, small rural hospital emergency departments and pharmacy services);
  • Enabling direct patient-provider interaction (such as follow-up for diabetes or hypertension; or urgent care services);
  • Managing patients with multiple chronic conditions from a distance; and,
  • Monitoring patient health and activities (for example, home monitoring equipment linked to a distant provider)