Message from the Director

Each year Americans spend more than a trillion dollars on the health care system. The Institute of Medicine report, A New Health System for the 21st Century reports between the health care we have and the care we could have lies not just a gap, but a chasm. The American health care delivery system is in need of fundamental change. This change would need to address innovative as well as evidence-based model for treatment of diseases with the patient at the center, often referred to as consumer-driven health care. We believe that telecommunications technology, such as eHealth, can be a feasible and cost-effective strategy to meet the challenge of improving medical services for rural Oklahomans and can help bridge the gap between the traditional medical model and community-based approaches for individuals whose distance/finances/transportation are barriers, whether they reside in a rural or urban area.

INTEGRIS Health created Oklahoma’s first telemedicine network in 1993 by connecting several rural INTEGRIS Health hospitals for voice, video, and data connectivity. Our institution was awarded a rural telemedicine grant (1997-2000 and 2000-2003) from the Office for Advancement of eHealth (OAT), which is a part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The primary goals of this grant were to improve access to health care for rural individuals across the life span, reduce isolation of rural practitioners, and to collect and disseminate this data.

Today INTEGRIS eHealth is no longer dependent on grants but is a sustainable corporate business model. eHealth service lines include TeleStroke, Speech Telepractice, TelePsychiatry and TeleMobile Assessment Team, TeleNeurology, and TeleNephrology.