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Central Iowa Broadband Survey: Getting Care from Anywhere

Health Care and Broadband

For residents looking to learn more about the Central Iowa Broadband Survey, the Greater Des Moines Partnership has put together virtual forums so that participants can hear directly from residents on how broadband has impacted their lives. During the third session, “Getting Care from Anywhere,” panelists included the following:

The group focused on challenges of telehealth in Greater Des Moines (DSM) and how telehealth is impacted by broadband access.

Confidentiality + HIPPA Compliancy

When sharing patient health information, or PHI, telehealth operations must be HIPPA compliant. Lefever said telehealth isn’t going away, so from a consumer perspective, remote engagements must meet the requirements of security. It’s on the providers delivering service to ensure that security for their patients.

Concerns Among Various DSM Populations

For Vangas, working with some of the region’s most vulnerable populations, broadband connectivity isn’t the only issue. Many in the older generations don’t know they can’t get connected because they don’t own the updated technology equipment to be able to get connected. Wengert said that many Broadlawns patients don’t use email, which means they’ve adapted to which technologies their patients do use. The digital divide is real, and Wengert said because of this they are putting in a kiosk at Urban Dreams for underrepresented and underserved populations to be able access technology at a walkable distance in order to gain access to a Broadlawns provider. Communication is also happening over whether to install a similar kiosk near the Des Moines Public Library that would also address broadband, technology and transportation considerations.

Quality Telehealth Experiences

In both rural and urban areas, Lefever said telehealth needs to be made as simple as possible, and there should be a video component for one-on-one consultations. Any time you add on something that requires more bandwidth, that decreases the quality of engagement and that’s prohibitive from connecting by video. Interprofessional consults, or provider-to-provider consults, can require more bandwidth as well; for example, when x-ray images are sent from one physician to another. When discussing telehealth, these potential issues must be thought out in order to make sure the impact of virtual appointments and communication is a positive experience.

Watch the full webinar below:


For more information on these broadband forums, visit DSMpartnership.com.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) has one of the best business climates in the country. The region is nationally recognized for having a talented and educated workforce, a cost of doing business 13% below the national average, a low cost of living and an exceptional quality of life.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.