Viewing Telehealth Through the Lens of a Community Benefit Mission

Telemed J E Health. 2017 Aug;23(8):662-673. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2016.0147. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


Introduction: This article reviews the intersection of common objectives between telehealth initiatives launched by health systems and community health (specifically community benefit). Telehealth initiatives can benefit communities and play a potential role in improving population health. There is great opportunity to better integrate telehealth activities into community health strategies and community benefit reporting (for nonprofit hospitals) while building the case for telehealth service expansion.

Methods: Through descriptive, hypothetical cases, we demonstrate the intersection of the triple aim, specifically improving population-level health, and three common objectives between telehealth and community benefit: (1) improving access to care, (2) enhancing community health, and (3) advancing medical or healthcare knowledge.

Conclusions: This article is intended to spur inspiration for possible telehealth and community health/community benefit connections.

Keywords: community benefit; community health; population health; telehealth; telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • United States