UF Health is preparing to expand care for patients with HIV in the Jacksonville area through the use of telemedicine, thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The three-year grant will allow patients who are currently seen in person within the UF Health system to use computers, tablets and even smartphones for face-to-face consultations with physicians and other caregivers. Personnel with the UF Health Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Service, or UF Health CARES, and the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville’s department of community health and family medicine are managing the project.
“Telemedicine is growing throughout health care, and our belief is it can really provide help to patients living with HIV who may have even more barriers to overcome to receive treatment,” said Reetu Grewal, MD, an assistant professor of community health and family medicine who is leading the research project. “Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in land mass, so at times it can be challenging for some of our patients who use public transportation to get to one of our clinics. We’re hopeful this can help.”
The grant was awarded in September. Since that time, faculty and staff have been creating promotional materials geared toward patients, developing protocols, training staff on how to enroll patients and incorporating essential documents into the Epic electronic medical records system.
“Telemedicine visits will start in September 2018 and conclude in September 2020,” Grewal said. “Our target right now is to have completed at least 300 patient visits in that two-year project period.”