- There are more than 900 videoconferencing sites in Alberta today.
Telehealth connects patients and health care providers with the health system securely and confidentially by carrying pictures, voices and information so that effective decisions about health care can be made.
Telehealth helps ensure all Albertans have equitable access to effective, efficient and timely health services. Telehealth improves service by using technology to deliver health, education and administrative activities at a distance.
- Telehealth provides new models of care – different health care providers in different regions can consult in real-time as to what is best for the patient or client; for example, follow-up that prevents repeat hospitalizations.
- Telehealth addresses population needs – home and creative workforce options to address the aging population or increase services to rural areas.
- Telehealth reduces travel and associated costs for clinical, education, and administrative events.
- Telehealth increase the capacity of clinicians to deliver services and provides support for clinicians in rural areas or isolated environments.
Alberta Telehealth reflects years of hard work and dedication by telehealth champions, partners and alliances. A generous anonymous donation in 1998 and additional investment from Alberta Health and Wellness provided the funding needed to establish telehealth endpoints across the province and cover some of the costs of implementing new technology and services.
Telehealth has been supported over the years through donor contributions, Alberta Health and Wellness, Alberta Health Services and Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), and Canada Health Infoway strategic investments.
Alberta Health and Wellness passed the responsibility for Telehealth to Alberta Health Services in 2009. Telehealth can continue to be a key tool to enable improved access and sustainability of health services, particularly for rural Albertans.
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