Increasing collaboration across the University of California Health system and identifying new, innovative ways to work together across multiple disciplines were the focuses of the UC Telehealth Summit held Friday, Oct. 4 at Betty Irene Moore Hall.
Nearly 200 representatives from five UC Health campuses attended the summit, which was organized by UC Davis Health in partnership with UC San Diego Health. Attendees shared practice, research and education priorities, as well as high-level architectural strategy with the goal of fostering collaborative approaches to improving telehealth and connected health services.
The broad spectrum of attendees – including clinicians and faculty, and staff from IT, compliance, operations and other professional disciplines – underscored the fact that successful telehealth programs require collaboration among multiple departments and teams.
The day kicked off with a keynote address by David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of human health sciences and CEO for UC Davis Health. He encouraged attendees to embrace a wider, more encompassing view of how digital platforms affect and deliver health care.
“It’s time to stop saying ‘telehealth’ and just say ‘health,’” Lubarsky said. “We don’t say ‘telebanking’ or ‘teletravel’ or ‘tele-real estate;’ technology is just one of the many ways that we can deliver health care. Remote consults and mobile access to our health system are just part of the conveniences and the services we offer every day to help our patients.”
Helping patients manage their own health via remote monitoring and health care apps was the next topic of discussion by a panel of clinician researchers, including Stephanie Crossen, pediatric endocrinologist with UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Crossen discussed her award-winning study that utilized video visits to improve glycemic control in high-risk pediatric patients with Type 1 diabetes.
“It was exciting to share the lessons we learned and the challenges we encountered in the study with other UC Health researchers,” said Crossen. “Hearing about the research, education and clinical work being done throughout the UC Health system inspires me to continue studying ways we can provide more convenient, accessible care for patients.”
Several other UC Davis Health faculty and staff members presented during the summit on topics such as telehealth education for medical and nursing students; technical infrastructure and the future of eConsults and video visits; and compliance, risk and legal issues surrounding health care conducted via a digital platform.
Through these presentations, UC Davis Health was able to showcase its history in the telehealth arena and the future of mobile health care – and reaffirm its ongoing commitment to connect with more community hospitals, increase video visits and continue groundbreaking research activities.
Afternoon keynote speaker Katherine Kim, assistant professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and the UC Davis School of Medicine, spoke about the opportunity for technology to build a bridge between health care teams and patients who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. Kim is part of Healthy Aging in a Digital World – a UC Davis Big Ideas project focused on designing, developing and evaluating personal devices, home monitors and mobile apps that empower independent living and access to health care.
During the last portion of the summit, attendees split into their respective campus groups and discussed program strengths they could share with other UC Health campuses, and opportunities to learn from and partner with their fellow campuses.
Facilitators then shared each groups’ findings, which were written out on giant, colorful sticky notes posted on the wall. Based on their identified strengths, gaps and desires, institutions were then matched with one another to work on next-step collaborations.
Summit co-host James Marcin, director of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, said there’s great power in all the UC Health campuses working together as one system to better address the health care needs of California.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel if our colleagues on one campus have come up with a great process or program that we could also implement at other campuses,” Marcin said. “This is to everyone’s benefit and allows us to tackle even greater projects; I look forward to seeing the new partnerships and collaborations that stem from this event.”