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AHA offering telehealth certification


Goals are to standardize training and grow skills of providers offering care via telehealth

Doctor holding stethoscope on computer screen ©JYPIX-stock.adobe.com


With telehealth gaining widespread acceptance among health care providers and patients, the American Heart Association (AHA) is launching a credentialed certification in telehealth.

“The explosion of telehealth use demonstrates a need for telehealth-centric learning to improve the standard of care,” Andrew Watson, M.D., volunteer chair of the AHA’s telehealth certification development workgroup and a surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said in a statement. “The American Heart Association’s individual telehealth certification is a way for health care professionals to ensure they are providing the highest standard of care in this evolving delivery system.”

The certification’s goals are to standardize training and increase skills and competencies for health care providers in telehealth care delivery and improve patient outcomes through integration of telehealth. The program includes:

  • evidence-based, online telehealth education that combines research, hands-on experiences, and best practices;
  • assessment via live remote-proctoring, certification award and renewal via AHA platforms; and
  • individual promotional opportunities by display of personalized certificate award and credentials, which are good for three years.

According to the AHA, telehealth use is at levels 38 times higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it says, about $250 billion, or 20% of all Medicare, Medicaid and commercial payer outpatient, clinic and home health spending, could potentially be shifted to virtual care.

“Telehealth as a method of care delivery can potentially transform the health care system, reducing costs and increasing quality, patient focus and patient satisfaction,” the AHA says in its announcement. “Evidence suggests that telehealth can make health care more effective, accessible and efficient, particularly for those who otherwise lack access to quality health care. Telehealth also can help address physician burnout by reducing clinicians’ drive times and allowing more time for direct patient care.”

The program is available through the AHA’s Intelligo Professional Education Hub. Those who complete it will receive the association’s Certified Professional-Telehealth designation.

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