|Description||There are unique barriers to providing access to high quality, effective and affordable health care in northern New Hampshire. The Northern Telepsychiatry Initiative (NTI) established a creative model for youth to access child psychiatry in the region. The proposed service area, known as The North Country, includes communities throughout the northern half of NH. It encompasses seventeen communities in Grafton County and all of Carroll and Coos County. The North Country spans 4,447 square miles comprising 43% of the total land mass of the State. The region includes 57 small towns with a total population of 105,870 and a density ranging from 18.4 to 47.7 people per square mile.|
|Services offered||The goal of the NTI was to provide access to child psychiatry through telemedicine and establish the
necessary policy and legislative changes to ensure the success and sustainability of the initiative. With the
funding provided a network of members worked to:
An additional and unforeseen problem was the complexity and cost of the technology. These related problems were solved with the investment in staff development and an aggressive effort to pursue options to decrease the cost of connectivity. These options have included other grants (FCC’s regional project and USAC) as well as a restructuring of the physical network.
|Results||In addition to the 360 degree evaluation which was discussed in Section II members of the NTI
monitored the overall project work plan. Members made adjustments to the plans as progress was made or
the needs of the project changed. The adjustments in the work plan regarding the recruitment of a child
psychiatrist is just one example of the NTI’s demonstrated ability to adjust as needed. The outcomes
achieved by the NTI have secured a strong foundation for continued growth of telemedicine in NH.
Through their efforts the NTI has minimized barriers to service for families as discussed in detail above.
In addition, their efforts have contributed to a culture of readiness in northern NH for the adoption of other telemedicine applications. For example, their efforts have secured financial support for telemedicine through the State Medicaid plan and mandatory 3rd party reimbursement. In addition, the technical capacity and infrastructure that was built for the project will remain a vital component for future telemedicine efforts among partner organizations. Finally, through outreach efforts the NTI has contributed to an increased desire to explore the use of technology and to expand access to health care across many disciplines throughout the State.
|Replication||Although it is too early to define the NTI model as a best practice, the initial evaluation of the project
was very positive and suggests that we were able to identify elements critical to creation of best practice
While the NTI will not continue to be a formal relationship the work of the individual members and the foundation that has been set will ensure that provision of child psychiatry via telemedicine will continue in the North Country. Northern Human Services will take financial responsibility for program costs with hopes that they will be offset by reimbursement for services and additional grants. They also hope to decrease the overhead cost burden by restructuring their network to leverage newer technologies.
|Source||Outreach Sourcebook, Vol.14, 2006-2009, Office of Rural Health Policy|
Northern Human Services
87 Washington Street
|Date added||January 22, 2007|
|Date reviewed||April 15, 2010|
Please contact the success story contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of success stories are provided by RAC for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RAC or by the Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.