$1 Million FCC Grant Will Allow Tampa General Hospital to Expand Its Innovative Telehealth Care | Tampa General Hospital

$1 Million FCC Grant Will Allow Tampa General Hospital to Expand Its Innovative Telehealth Care

Published: Jan 13, 2022

The grant will increase ways TGH serves the community during the pandemic and beyond, providing cutting-edge remote patient care with advanced technology.

Tampa, FL (Jan. 13, 2022)Tampa General Hospital has received a $1 million reimbursement grant from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fund telehealth and connected care services that will help remove socioeconomic barriers, enhance the quality of care, and expand access to care by creating a clinically-focused, patient-centric and connected telehealth continuum. The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program was established as part of the CARES Act.

This continuum creates timelier provider and patient access, places connected monitoring devices in the homes of high-risk patients and allows Tampa General to care for patients in the places and communities where they live.

The grant is part of the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program that supports the efforts of health care providers nationwide. Funds provide reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth services during the pandemic.

Tampa General utilizes telehealth services across our continuum of care to better serve its patients. Through this grant, Tampa General will use the funding for various projects that expand services from its ambulatory settings to the hospital. Solutions that are implemented will be used for both COVID patients and non-COVID patients. 

“Thanks to the rapid expansion of telehealth technologies from the pandemic, we have seen the tremendous power of these tools to support patient care,” said Dr. Nishit Patel, Tampa General’s chief medical informatics officer. “Telehealth has the ability to improve access to care, serve as an extension to in-person visits, and maximize the convenience for our patients by treating them in the comfort of their homes. Telehealth has quickly become an essential way in which we deliver care to our patients and community every single day.”

Tampa General intends to use the grant funds for additional telehealth solutions that can:

  • Minimize infection risk to the care team by equipping the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI), with connected devices for the purpose of remote monitoring of COVID-19 patient vital signs, virtual rounding and patient communication. Through this collaboration between Tampa General and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, an early detection system monitors for negative changes in a patient’s condition and can improve a patient’s recovery time, while decreasing the hazards of COVID-19 exposure.

  • Improve access to primary and preventative care for low-income and underserved patient populations.

  •  Include high-risk specialists in the virtual specialty consult programs to better serve low-income and underserved populations.

  • Apply virtual health solutions such as the TGH Virtual Health Kit powered by TytoCare in the busiest urgent care centers to triage COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and provide an option for an on-demand telehealth visit.

  • Continue remote patient monitoring of acute COVID-19 patients recovering at home through virtual visits and connected devices monitoring vital signs.

“The generous FCC telehealth funding will help us build upon and expand the important telehealth work we are currently doing in the hospital and in the Tampa community,” said Marion Dawkins, Tampa General’s senior director of ambulatory strategy operations and services. “This grant will allow us to continue serving the community with the latest technology, providing smart, innovative care and increasing patient access to vital services and potentially preventing the development of more serious health issues.”

Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in
U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.