An Exploration into the Benefits, Challenges, and Potential of Telehealth in the United States: A Mississippi Case Study

Sistrunk, Ann Weston (2019) An Exploration into the Benefits, Challenges, and Potential of Telehealth in the United States: A Mississippi Case Study. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of David J. Rutherford from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Healthcare in the United States is in need of new solutions to provide access to care for all and decrease the rising costs of care. Telehealth is a developing model of healthcare delivery, and it will provide effective and equitable solutions to increase access to healthcare across the nation. As models of healthcare rapidly change, telehealth will continue to progress, but it is necessary for policy to complement the rapidly changing healthcare environment so that telehealth implementation can be successful. Along with access, telehealth has the opportunity to address many convenience barriers to healthcare, including distribution and number of practitioners, location barriers, and appointment availability. This thesis provides an exploratory literature review of the background, benefits, challenges, and potential of telehealth in the United States and provides original research into telehealth in Mississippi. Mississippi is a unique state when it comes to healthcare, and it is a leader in telehealth across the nation. The goal of this original research is to explore healthcare in Mississippi and learn from healthcare administrators about the healthcare needs in Mississippi and how telehealth can provide solutions to current health barriers. The research was gathered through semi-structured interviews of healthcare administrators from three different sites in Mississippi, ranging from a rural wellness center to the largest telehealth center in the state. After completion of the interviews, the interview data were recorded in the form of notes and a synthesis document was drafted explaining the common themes of telehealth in Mississippi. The results of the research were comparable to literature review; there was an emphasis on barriers to telehealth implementation such as reimbursement and health policy. Another commonality was that health systems and practitioners generally want to use telehealth services, but there currently are too many barriers to successful telehealth implementation for it to be a sustainable model. In order for telehealth to be successfully implemented, there needs to be more research, lobbying, and advocacy efforts to make prompt and effective change in health policies in the United States.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Sistrunk, Ann Weston
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: David J. Rutherford
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Depositing User: Ann Weston Sistrunk
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 19:02
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 19:02
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1480

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