The expanded use of telehealth to provide patient care, brought on by the global pandemic, is expected to continue well past COVID-19. To help meet the continued demand for virtual care, Futuro Health has teamed up with California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and the University of Delaware to launch the Advanced Telehealth Coordinator Certificate pilot program this month.
The 15-week fully online, self-paced program is well-suited for working adults. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have three or more years of experience in their role and/or in healthcare.
“This pandemic has shown how quickly the necessary skill sets for a job can change,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health. “Employers and individuals are equally challenged to keep skills updated in a COVID-19 environment that is fast-changing. Our telehealth program will help provide relief for employers and workers delivering virtual care and at the same time help reach more patients in need of care from a distance.”
Market research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts a sevenfold growth in telehealth by 2025, and a study released in June by Doctor.com found that 83% of patients are likely to use telemedicine after COVID-19.
In addition, California Competes data show that while 93 percent of Californians have health insurance, 18 percent of communities are in a doctor’s office “desert,” limiting access to care. Telehealth holds exciting possibilities for addressing issues related to health care access in California, including providing access to critical care in areas where there is a shortage of providers. It also serves as an innovative way to meet the demands of an aging population, reduce the number of non-emergency visits to emergency rooms, prevent hospital re-admissions and bring care to the most appropriate setting.
“Community health centers provide comprehensive, quality health care to one in six Californians,” said Louise McCarthy, president and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. “Telehealth allows health centers to expand and enhance access to critically needed services for California’s most vulnerable. We are excited to partner with Futuro Health in expanding and improving telehealth in California.”
Among their duties, telehealth coordinators are in charge of an organization’s telehealth services, including scheduling and making sure planned programming is carried out, as well as assisting with outreach and developing recommendations for improving the program.
The Advanced Telehealth Coordinator pilot program commences Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 28. Currently, the pilot is for individuals referred by Futuro Health partners and is tuition-free in 2020, with students paying only miscellaneous fees. Futuro Health currently is accepting applications for the next class, which begins in February.
Offered online through the University of Delaware, the program examines the practical, technical, and business aspects of telehealth, as well as the creative aspects of using technology to deliver health care. The telehealth coordinator role may be of interest to licensed vocational nurses, medical assistants, counselors, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists and other experienced health care workers looking to upskill into a new role within the health care field. The training may also be of value to those in IT and Quality Improvement- and Quality Assurance-related operational roles that intersect with the delivery of telehealth.
“Telehealth patient care is here to stay even when the pandemic recedes,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de La Raza, Inc., a community clinic in Oakland. “We appreciate the training resources being brought to our organization by Futuro Health for the future of care.”
About Futuro Health
Futuro Health improves the health and wealth of communities by growing the largest network of credentialed allied health workers in the nation starting in California. We believe investing in education and skills training and retraining results in better-paying jobs for workers, better service for patients and better workers for employers to hire. Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) partnered to establish Futuro Health in January 2020 with a $130 million commitment.
California Primary Care Association
In 1994, the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) was formed and has become the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California community health centers and their patients. CPCA represents more than 1,370 not-for-profit community health centers (CHCs) and Regional Clinic Associations who provide comprehensive, quality health care services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians, who might otherwise not have access to health care.