New guidebook provides a roadmap for navigating the challenges in telehealth

The Foundation for Research Development at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has partnered with The Stationery Office (TSO), a British publishing company, to develop a new guidebook titled TSIM: The Telehealth Framework. The guidebook provides a roadmap for navigating the many challenges involved in the development, implementation and maintenance of a telehealth program. MUSC, a federally recognized National Telehealth Center of Excellence, developed TSIM from its own experience establishing a successful and comprehensive telehealth program. MUSC now offers more than 80 different telehealth services at more than 300 clinical sites across the state of South Carolina.

The official publisher of the U.K. government, TSO publishes best practices and other professional guidance for fields ranging from U.K. legislation to pharmaceutical compliance. TSO's expertise in publishing technical content made it an ideal partner for MUSC in developing the guidebook.

"This guidebook is meant to be a reference manual for individuals who are looking to start either a telehealth program or optimize an existing one," said Shawn Valenta, vice president of Healthcare Cloud - Clinical Services at Wellpath and former administrator of the Center for Telehealth at MUSC. "Ultimately, it is aimed at providing a standard for what a telehealth operation should be."

MUSC and other organizations that have adopted TSIM are realizing the benefits of sustainable delivery, scalable services, effective management and continuous improvement. TSIM: The Telehealth Framework offers a step-by-step approach, using a fictional case study to bring to life the challenges of telehealth implementation to illustrate how TSIM can overcome them.

What really excites me about this guidebook is the potential to create this community where institutions and individuals who are looking to optimize the patient care experience can share their experiences. This guidebook serves as a resource for that community."

Dee Ford, M.D., division director for Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine at MUSC

As the TSIM guidebook makes information accessible to more organizations and its adoption becomes more widespread, the hope is that case studies will emerge that will enrich the TSIM framework and initiate conversation.

"TSO and MUSC are keen to collaborate with the wider community to see how they have used or could use TSIM to overcome telehealth challenges in their own settings," noted Troy J. Huth, associate director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development.

TSO, MUSC and the MUSC Foundation for Research Development are working together on further initiatives to make the TSIM framework as relevant and accessible as possible across different settings. These projects will aim to improve both organizational and personal performance in the field of telehealth.

Overall, the impact of TSIM may best be summarized by Charles R. Doarn, director of the Telemedicine and e-Health Program at the University of Cincinnati.

"This unique publication brings together information and guidance to enlighten the reader with knowledge that can be put to use immediately," said Doarn. "The TSIM model provides an excellent resource for all involved in developing and deploying telemedicine and telehealth."

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