Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Program

Laurie Uscher-Pines, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Laurie Uscher-Pines

RAND Corporation
Senior Policy Researcher

Presentation Abstract

Challenges Assessing the Impact of Telestroke and eConsult Programs in Rural Areas

Telestroke and eConsults are two common provider-to-provider telehealth applications that are designed to increase access and improve the quality of care in rural communities. With telestroke, remote neurologists use real time, secure videoconferencing to guide local emergency department (ED) providers through key decisions including tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) eligibility, need for thrombectomy, and need for patient transfer. eConsults allow clinicians to communicate (asynchronously) with specialists about focused patient questions, thereby increasing access to specialists’ expertise and often allowing more complex cases to be managed in primary care settings without a visit to a specialist. This presentation will discuss challenges in assessing the impact of these telehealth services in rural areas, using a national mixed-methods study of telestroke implementation and an evaluation of the MAVEN Project as key examples. The presentation will discuss challenges in determining exposure to telehealth (e.g., which organizations have telehealth capacity and which specific cases include a consult), limitations of claims data in assessing utilization and quality, and difficulties quantifying broader systems impacts of specific telehealth programs.

About Dr. Uscher-Pines

Dr. Lori Uscher-Pines is a Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on telehealth, health equity, and maternal and child health. Her current projects include assessing the impact of various forms of telehealth such as telemental health and telestroke on quality and access to care. She is also conducting an evaluation of the implementation of telehealth programs in safety net settings and conducting a digital trial evaluating the effectiveness of virtual breastfeeding support via mobile app. She is a mixed methods researcher who has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Uscher-Pines earned her Ph.D. in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her M.Sc. in international relations from the London School of Economics.

Dr. Uscher-Pines did not disclose any conflicts of interest for this workshop.

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