Process of Identifying Measures and Data Elements for the HRSA School-Based Telehealth Network Grant Program


To demonstrate how telehealth can expand access to and coordinate and improve the quality of healthcare services offered in schools, the Health Resources and Services Administration Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth awarded grants to 21 organizations across the country for the School-Based Telehealth Network Grant Program (SB TNGP) in September 2016. Grants were targeted to rural, frontier, and underserved communities providing telehealth services for school children, with a particular focus on five clinical areas: asthma, behavioral health, diabetes, healthy weight, and oral health. As part of this initiative, FORHP funded the Rural Telehealth Research Center to identify a set of measures for the SB TNGP. The principal activities for this project included developing an inventory of potential SB TNGP measures, defining a methodology for evaluating this inventory of measures to determine which were most relevant and applicable for evaluating the SB TNGP initiative, applying the methodology to identify a final list of measures, translating the measures into data elements, and creating a dictionary and tool that could be used to systematically collect and report data by SB TNGP grantees. The goal of the project was to identify a common set of measures that could be collected from each of the grantees on all of their grant-funded telehealth encounters for a cross-grantee assessment of school-based telehealth services, utilization, process, and outcomes.

Rural Telehealth Research Center
Marcia Ward, Kimberley Fox, Kimberly Merchant, Amanda Burgess, Fred Ullrich, Karen Pearson, George Shaler, Christopher Shea, Steve North, Carlos Mena