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Governor Bryan Launches Survey On USVI’s Readiness for Telehealth

CHRISTIANSTED — As part of his Healthier Horizons Initiative, Governor Albert Bryan today launched the USVI Telehealth Provider Survey to determine how ready local doctors and healthcare providers are to use technology to extend their reach beyond traditional clinical settings. Telehealth includes options such as video doctor visits and remote patient monitoring.  

The survey was emailed to doctors and healthcare providers across the territory today and is also accessible online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VITelehealth.  

The online survey takes five minutes to complete can be submitted via a desktop, tablet or smart phone. All responses are confidential. The deadline to submit the USVI Telehealth Provider Survey is November 2. 

“I’m urging every doctor and healthcare provider to take the USVI Telehealth Provider Survey so that we can have a clear picture of how much work needs to be done to deliver telehealth services for Virgin Islands residents,” Bryan said. “The ultimate goal is to promote the use of telehealth, especially in the wake of COVID-19, where traveling, even between islands, is a cause for concern for everyone, not only high-risk patients.”  

The telehealth survey is designed to assess telehealth capacity and identify gaps, such as training of IT staff; technology needs; software and hardware; and to provide baseline information as the Administration works towards the development of the territory’s first-ever Health Information Exchange (HIE). 

 “We are recommending that a senior administrator within a doctor or healthcare provider’s office complete the survey, because questions cover areas such as general facility information, telehealth capacity and HIE capacity,” Dr. Julia Sheen, Health and Human Services Policy Advisor to Governor Bryan, said. “We need maximum participation for us to truly understand our needs, and I join the governor in urging the medical community to participate.” 

Since January, Dr. Sheen has been working with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors, as part of the V.I. Telehealth Workgroup, to lay the groundwork for making telehealth services in the U.S. Virgin Islands a reality. The Workgroup is leading the coordination of telehealth services among healthcare providers and will spearhead the regulation and implementation of the HIE. 

Their work is focused on policy and regulation, including Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, malpractice insurance coverage, licensing of providers, and the implementation of enabling legislation.   

The Healthier Horizons Initiative includes telehealth and 10 other projects to create a comprehensive health care system for Virgin Islanders by broadening the scope of health services provided to residents, increasing patient access to quality care and hardening the healthcare infrastructure. 

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