Sunday, December 14, 2008

UC Launches Loan Program

The University of California Davis Health System in Sacramento has just launched a program to help community hospitals and primary care clinics obtain video conferencing and related telehealth equipment. The program called the “UC Davis Proposition ID Telemedicine Equipment Loan Program” provides not only for the loan of video conferencing units but also for peripheral medical equipment, such as specialized cameras, to be used in healthcare sites located within the health system’s 33 county service areas.

The loaned equipment will be available to healthcare sites and the communities they serve for an extended period of time. If, for some reason, a site no longer uses or needs telemedicine equipment, or if the site’s status as a healthcare provider changes, the equipment loan program would enable UC Davis to redistribute the equipment to other appropriate sites.

The telemedicine program at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento provides direct clinical care to patients at a distance, giving clinics and hospitals throughout the state access to more than 40 medical specialties not readily available in most smaller communities. So far, the UC Davis Telemedicine program has conducted more than 20,000 telehealth consultations.

To be eligible, partner sites must be a public or non-profit entity and provide care to underserved populations. Interested healthcare providers should submit a letter of interest and complete an online informational survey at between December 9, 2008 and January 6, 2009.

UC Davis plans to review each submission and make recommendations to the UC Office of the President. It is anticipated that by the end of 2009 as many as 25 sites will receive a telemedicine equipment loan along with installation support and training from UC Davis technical experts.