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Site requirements

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Technology should be considered a bridge to connect with a patient, and site assessments are crucial to ensuring that such technology is adequate. Failure to ensure that sites have appropriate technology may lead to suboptimal patient care. To implement a telehealth program effectively, participating sites should undergo a resource assessment to evaluate equipment readiness. Trained and knowledgeable information technology and network staff should be involved in conducting assessments to ensure equipment and network readiness and address security concerns. Conducting a mock visit to assess equipment readiness can help prepare telemedicine sites for the delivery and installation of new telemedicine equipment.

For patients, telehealth generally relies on a strong Internet connection. Adequate broadband access is needed for the transmission of high-quality audio, text, and imaging. If the patient (or provider providing telehealth) is experiencing a lack of connectivity, the care needed may not be provided. This lack of connectivity can be a concern for patients living in areas with poor access to quality broadband Internet. In addition, patients may face difficulties setting up and effectively using telehealth tools, depending on the technology.