News Feature | September 30, 2016

Nurse-Managed Clinic Leverages Telehealth To Expand Virtual Health Access

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Virtual Telehealth Doctor

National University collaborates with Health Net Connect and iAssay to improve healthcare access.

In May, National University announced the opening of a new, nurse-managed clinic in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts designed to use the latest telehealth technologies to bring comprehensive medical care to its residents. The clinic was developed in partnership with UCLA and local faith-based and community organizations and uses virtual services to make healthcare more accessible.

Now, National University is collaborating with Health Net Connect and iAssay to help improve that healthcare access. The two telehealth companies will be providing equipment and cutting-edge technology to support the clinic’s mission. The initiative will connect residents at specially-designated sites with nurse practitioners at remote locations. The technology will extend the reach of the primary care provider to help boost healthcare outcomes in these vulnerable communities, according to Gloria J. McNeal, Dean of the National University School of Health and Human Services.

Each site’s staff includes nurse practitioners from National University and other healthcare organizations, and the clinic provides opportunities for students of health care informatics and other healthcare specialties to gain valuable clinical experience in new models of healthcare.

Dr. Keith Norris, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA who also serves as co-director for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Community Engagement and Research Program, serves as the project’s lead physician, said, “This project provides a much-needed service that advances interdisciplinary health professional models of care while working with communities to create partnered solutions.”

The clinic is believed to be among the first such “virtual” settings of its kind and offers comprehensive physical examinations; management programs for diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and high blood-pressure; vision and hearing testing; OB/GYN care and referrals; and body weight management.

“The technology now exists to reduce the financial, social, cultural and transportation barriers that prevent people from seeking proper health care,” said McNeal. “This project builds on such advances by flipping the paradigm and bringing health care support to the patient.” 

With the collaboration, the Clinic teams will be using a clinical grade, all-in-one, user-friendly telemedicine and telehealth platform developed by Health Net Connect that incorporates a unique combination of HIPAA and HITECH compliant video consultations, virtual house calls, FDA approved peripherals, triage and rounds, combined with the ability to take, store and retrieve patient vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygenation, etc.) from anywhere to anywhere throughout the world.

“It is a privilege to be involved in this very important community health project,” said Lonnie Adelman, CEO of iAssay, Inc. “In addition to helping underserved and at-risk populations on their path to better health, this clinic will serve as a model for clinics of the future, driving the innovations needed to shape the future of healthcare all over the United States.”