Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act: Public Law 109-417: Telehealth Report to Congress [open pdf - 311KB]
"The term Telehealth describes the process of employing applicable telecommunications and informatics technology to improve healthcare delivery and enhance service delivery models. The increasing use of telecommunications technology to improve individual health, health education, and administration and coordination of healthcare services, has made significant contributions to the ongoing transformation of the United States healthcare system. The impact of Telehealth can be seen in health professional distance education, nursing call center operations, poison control, telemetry, procedural robotics, and services such as remote monitoring of a patient's vital signs or transmitting diagnostic images for interpretation by an expert hundreds of miles away. [...] The purpose of this document is to report on HHS' [Department of Health and Human Services] fulfillment of the PHSA [Public Health Service Act] Section 319D(f), including recommendations. It reflects the most current information available despite the lack of a National, comprehensive repository of Telehealth information and comprehensive integration of programs, systems and infrastructure. There are many efforts to expand, adopt, evaluate outcomes of, and improve Telehealth capabilities; however, comprehensive and clear visibility on the entire breadth of work conducted is not available. This report is not a strategy or plan, but rather a point-in-time reflection of the current status of United States Telehealth asset implementation during public health emergencies and disaster medical responses."
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Emergency: http://www.phe.gov