Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Program

Melinda M. Davis, Ph.D., M.C.R.

Melinda M. Davis

Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network at Oregon Health & Science University
Associate Professor and Associate Director, Department of Family Medicine and School of Public Health

Presentation Abstract

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse: Staffing, Resources, and Improvement Capacity in Adoption of Provider-to-Provider Telehealth in Rural Primary Care

Provider-to-provider (and staff-to-staff proxy) telehealth has the potential to facilitate communication and enhance the quality and experience of care for rural patients. However, implementation of telehealth technology and finding time to use these resources can be compromised in rural settings due to challenges with adequate staffing and therefore time to engage, resources (e.g., technology platforms, interpersonal relationships), and improvement capacity. This presentation will draw on more than 13 years of experience working in the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN) and partnering with rural primary care clinics to implement evidence-based interventions in routine practice. I will highlight barriers and facilitators to provider-to-provider telehealth implementation with a focus on cases related to education (e.g., ECHO, webinars, academic detailing, practice facilitation), consultation, and mentoring. Telehealth is not a panacea. Successful implementation and sustainability of provider-to-provider telehealth in rural primary care requires focused attention on basic infrastructure needs to support adequate staffing, technological and interpersonal resources, and improvement capacity. Failure to attend to these foundational needs across rural practices has the potential to exacerbate health disparities.

About Dr. Davis

Dr. Melinda M. Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Oregon Health and Science University (HSU)-Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health and Associate Director of the ORPRN. Dr. Davis is a participatory implementation scientist who collaborates with patient, community, and health system partners to identify and address health disparities in rural and underserved settings. Dr. Davis conducts her work in ORPRN, often in partnership with the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance (CHARA), Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), and other state and national partners. Dr. Davis leads a portfolio of research and technical assistance contracts funded by the National Cancer Institute, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Cancer Society, and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to implement evidence-based interventions into practice.

Dr. Davis did not disclose any conflicts of interest for this workshop.

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