Digital Inclusion Survey Released to Gauge Telemedicine Usage & Experience in 11-County Region

Community Members & Healthcare Providers Encouraged to Take Survey

Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) and Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) have expanded their telehealth partnership to create the North Country Digital Inclusion Coalition. The Coalition works to identify challenges and barriers faced by providers and individuals in rural communities to ensure telehealth services are sustainable, accessible, and affordable throughout the North Country region.

The Coalition has launched two surveys – one for community members and one for providers – both with the aim to identify barriers to telehealth access and digital equity and to gain perspectives regarding their telehealth utilization and challenges.

“The North Country Telehealth Partnership has been in existence since 2015, with the aim of increasing access to healthcare through telehealth technology, especially in our rural areas,” states Nancy DelMastro, Telehealth Project Manager. “Though usage of telehealth technology was gradually taking off between 2015 and 2019, its growth increased exponentially because of the COVID pandemic – from just 231 visits in 2015 to over 128,000 in 2020 and over 170,000 in 2021. Now that patients and their healthcare providers have more than likely had an opportunity to use telemedicine for visits, it is an excellent time to find out what their experiences were like. This information is key to helping us continually make improvements and reduce barriers to access to telemedicine options.”

All providers and community members in the survey area (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties) are encouraged to take the brief survey to offer feedback and input. Surveys can be accessed through the following links:

Community Member Survey                                       Healthcare Provider Survey

Survey responses will be collected through July 31, 2022.

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