Press release

EY Telemedicine Adoption Model Unveiled at HIMSS Conference

Chicago, 16 April 2015

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First-of-its-kind framework aims to speed the proliferation of telemedicine by making it easier to compare programs, assess services and invest in technologies

For the first time, telemedicine programs can be easily described and compared through the use of an industry standard. The Telemedicine Adoption Model was co-developed by the Health Care Advisory practice of Ernst and Young LLP and a panel of national telemedicine experts from leading academic medical centers. The Telemedicine Adoption Model is similar to the system currently used to compare trauma centers across the United States. It was unveiled today during a presentation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) annual conference in Chicago.

“As interest in telemedicine intensifies, it is critical that an industry standard be adopted for assessing and describing the maturity of various telemedicine programs,” said Bill Fera, MD, a principal in the Health Care Advisory practice at Ernst & Young LLP and the leader of the National Telemedicine Nomenclature Advisory Council. “A standardized national system will make it easier for health care providers to compare, analyze and implement telemedicine programs. This can speed telemedicine adoption and help get this technology to more patients who need it.”

The Telemedicine Adoption Model is the culmination of a year of research, development and validation by a panel of experts from some of the country’s most respected academic medical institutions. The result is a comprehensive, eight-level model that describes telemedicine capabilities from infancy to full interoperability.

Under the model, telemedicine practices in the earlier stages of adoption support basic capabilities, such as video conferencing for physician education and access to patient health portals. More mature organizations offer patients virtual consults and use specialized cameras for remote exams. Hospitals with a high level of adoption significantly integrate telemedicine into care delivery, are capable of remotely monitoring patients, and have the ability to capture all telemedicine data into an internal EHR and exchange that data with external organizations.

“The new Telemedicine Adoption Model is a welcome resource for the industry,” said Natasa Sokolovich, JD, MSHCPM, the executive director of telehealth at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a member of the National Telemedicine Nomenclature Advisory Council. “Enabling health care providers to easily compare their existing telemedicine and telehealth services with other programs across the country allows a systematic approach to planning, assessing and maximizing investments in telemedicine services and technologies. As someone who has operationalized the strategic expansion of telemedicine services across a large integrated delivery and finance system, I am excited to share this model with my colleagues across the country.”

Other members of the Advisory Council are Matt Cox and Bill Gable from Duke University Health System, Karen Jackson, Kyle Sharp and Mark Moseley from The Ohio State University, David Nash and Alexis Skoufalos from Thomas Jefferson University, Frank Maguire from TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Nate Gladwell, Amalia Cochran and Ted Kimball from the University of Utah, and Brian Carlson and Paul Sternberg from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For more details on how the eight levels categorize the maturity of a telemedicine program, please refer to the chart below.

Telemedicine Adoption Model
Level Capabilities and Description
7 Full interoperability. All medical device data, including data from patient-provided wearables, is transmitted to and analyzed in an internal EHR. Data is easily exchanged with external organizations.
6 Offers telemedicine services to patients across the care continuum for multiple specialties. Highly integrates telemedicine into ongoing patient care.
5 Remotely monitors patients at home. Telemedicine equipment is dispensed by the provider as part of the care treatment plan.
4 Uses complex telemedicine technology to support care for various levels of patient acuity across several specialties and sites. This may include the use of specialized cameras and telemedicine-enabled monitoring and exam instruments.
3 Uses simple exam cameras and viewing monitors to perform virtual consults with patients. Capable of transmitting images and clinical data across providers.
2 Able to transmit personal clinical data and customized education to patients through a dedicated patient portal.
1 Uses technologies such as video conferencing to support provider-to-provider consults and education.
0 Emerging telemedicine program. Telemedicine operations are centrally managed. Policies are in place to ensure security and regulatory compliance.

About EY Health Care Advisory
EY Health Care Advisory is a global network of more than 3,000 professionals dedicated to helping leading organizations improve and transform their business operations to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly evolving health care system.

We stand apart from traditional advisors with our seasoned team of professionals, many of whom possess direct health industry experience at the highest levels of payer and provider organizations. EY Health’s pioneering approach to delivering integrated business performance services to both payers and providers has resulted in it serving as a long-term advisor to leading health systems, providers and academic medical centers.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the US.