Action Plan for Getting Involved in Telehealth as a Professional
by Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D.
We have a choice: we get involved, or we stand by and watch other
professional groups make decisions about our future. So where do we begin?
- Accept the inevitable. The future is here, and our profession will
change with the times, or it won't. It's up to each of us individually, as
well as our profession as a whole. Our skills can be "re-tooled" to fit the
needs of the future.
- Get online, and get active. Get the information you need, set up an
email account, and use the SDPA SDpsych listserv to learn about more
profession-specific resources online. Call Allison Ferch for information
about the SDPA email list (619-297-4825). For the technophobes in the
community, practice relaxation and take small steps to move through the
setup phase. Ask a friend (clinician) to help you get online, learn the
basics, and establish your professional presence online...it's a blast!
- Get information about Telemedicine and Telehealth online:
- Educate others. Let's be proactive, not reactive. Help a colleague reach
the next step. Get them online, show them how to access professional lists,
subscribe them to SDpsych and Telehealth, and teach them about *Netiquette* (cultural
norms of online communities.)
- Get political. Lobby. Write to your legislative representatives, and use
the Internet to voice your political opinions and shape the formation of
Behavioral Telehealth services.
- Consider computerizing an aspect of your specialty area. If you already
have software/hardware developed, promote it for free at this site:
- Start a telehealth pilot project in your clinic, hospital or
professional group. Begin using videoconferencing tools to facilitate
interactions with other professionals, for supervision, and eventually,
- When developing pilot projects, use sound research design to collect
- Publish your outcome data and observations, and/or speak about them at
local, state and national professional meetings. Let others benefit from
your experiences so our stumbling profession can grow stronger. Come on! We
can do this.
Dr. Maheu is the Director of Telehealth for the California School of
Professional Psychology, founder of the Telehealth and TeleHealthNews lists
for Professionals, and owner of CyberTowers Professional Office Center.
Reach her at 619-277-2772 or drop her an email email@example.com