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ATA and CHQI form telemedicine accreditation joint venture

Steve Rogerson
May 23, 2017
 
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and the Clear Health Quality Institute (CHQI) have formed a joint venture to develop the next generation of telemedicine accreditation standards.
 
The aim is to combine the ATA's knowledge base in telehealth and the CHQI's expertise in launching accreditation programmes in the healthcare field. 
 
Under the partnership, the ATA's Accreditation Programme for Online Patient Consultations will be repositioned as the Telemedicine Accreditation Programme and will be managed entirely by the CHQI. The programme will continue to promote patient safety, transparency of operations and adherence to all relevant laws and regulations, and recognise real-time, online patient health services that comply with operational, clinical and consumer-related standards.
 
The CHQI will expand the scope of the original ATA programme to enable more telemedicine providers to become accredited.
 
"The ATA's collaboration with the CHQI further demonstrates our continued commitment towards protecting consumers, supporting effective telemedicine interventions, and building the highest integrity accreditation programme," said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the ATA. "The ATA and its members are providing telehealth that is improving clinical and financial outcomes for the populations they serve. The joint venture with the CHQI – and the expansion of the online patient consultation programme – ensures increased accountability, integrity and quality of programmes and services being offered.”
 
Approved organisations will display the CHQI's Seal of Accreditation, a benchmark to assure patients, payers and consumers that the organisation's online patient consultative services meet the standards and guidance established for the programme. The ATA will assume a role in helping the CHQI draft and periodically update the telemedicine accreditation standards.
 
The CHQI is supported by a board of directors, along with several standards and accreditation committees. Volunteer experts representing different stakeholder perspectives populate each committee. The new organisation also takes an educational approach to promoting quality operations.
 
"The CHQI was formed, in part, to find new ways to update the traditional approach to accreditation in healthcare," said Garry Carneal, board chair of the CHQI. "Many opportunities exist to rethink and improve how health plans, providers and others meet quality-based standards and performance benchmarks. Today, telemedicine services are not always easily or appropriately regulated due to the complexity of those operations. The CHQI is dedicated to creating new pathways to establish national measurement-based standards in the healthcare marketplace."
 
Among other achievements, Carneal has supervised the development and launch of over 20 healthcare accreditation programmes since 1995.
 
Established in 1993, the ATA is a non-profit, membership-based association located in Washington DC. Comprised of a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals, the telehealth association helps transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.
 
The CHQI’s mission is to promote quality-based practices for health plans, providers and other stakeholders across the USA and its territories. Its accreditation and certification programmes help assess, track and report on trends to enhance key insurance and provider outcomes.