Alameda Health System (AHS) recently received a $316,000 grant to fund a telehealth expansion project that will further the organization’s commitment to providing patients better access to exceptional and equitable care.

Under the leadership of Chief Administrative Officer of Population Health Tangerine Brigham, AHS submitted a funding request for the telehealth project through Senator Feinstein’s office as part of the FY 2022 Congressionally Directed Spending process which earmarks money for local projects. “The funding will expand telehealth and significantly enhance our ability to reach those who need and want the care we provide at AHS,” said Brigham “We were very fortunate to have received invaluable support for the funding request from our community – Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and the Board of Supervisors.”

The funds which are administered by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will enable AHS to create more opportunities and convenient options for receiving health care services. Since the onset of the pandemic when AHS had to quickly pivot to video and telephone visits, telemedicine continues to be invaluable in creating a better patient experience. Just last month more than 5,000 patients took advantage of telehealth options over in-person visits.

A key driver to expand telehealth access for patients, providers and medical staff is the growing desire from patients to have more flexibility to connect with their providers for their health and wellness needs.

The one-year telehealth expansion project is comprised of three components designed to grow the capacity and capabilities for telehealth services. The first component includes ten mobile workstations to be installed at Highland Hospital for ambulatory outpatient services. It will enable providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other medical staff to provide patient services by video visits.

The second project component focuses on increasing inpatient bedside access to the MyAlamedaHealth patient portal via 100 tablets located at Highland, Alameda and San Leandro Hospitals. Lastly, 38 all-in-one kiosk workstations with computers will be made available to patients at the three acute care hospitals and AHS wellness centers.

Collectively, these three areas of focus will increase both the quantity and quality of telehealth options for patients and medical staff as well as support the development of the system’s larger digital health strategy currently underway.

“Creating an effective digital platform begins by defining what success looks like for AHS and then identifying gaps and building on opportunities to provide patient-centered care that is accessible to all,” said Associate Chief Medical Informatics Officer Sarah Rahman, MD. “Telehealth is a key driver of the patient experience and we will be able to take this grant and launch it forward into a sustainable digital health framework that provides the exceptional care they deserve.”