CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022 - 9

COL L EG E
9
Sheridan Health
Services Assisting
Patients To Use
Telehealth
A JOINT EFFORT WITH ARAPAHOE LIBRARY
DISTRICT IS REDUCING BARRIERS TO
TELEHEALTH BY PROVIDING ACCESS TO HEALTH
MONITORING EQUIPMENT, HOTSPOTS, AND A
COORDINATOR TO SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS
AND ASSIST WITH THE TECHNOLOGY
By Dana Brandorff
T
he Sheridan Health Services (SHS), a
neighborhood community health center
operated by CU Nursing, has launched
a program with the Arapahoe Library
District to assist patients in using telehealth
services.
Telehealth has existed for years but never so essential as
it is now with the COVID-19 pandemic. With hospitals
and clinics over-run with COVID patients, telehealth
services that provide care from a distance have become
both a necessity and lifeline. Many, especially Spanishspeaking
residents, are unsure about what telehealth is,
how to use and access it, and in some instances cannot
afford or do not have the proper equipment to use it
effectively.
" We know we are not reaching the most vulnerable of
our clients - those experiencing the greatest digital
poverty, " says Chief Executive officer with Sheridan
Health Services and CU Nursing Assistant Professor
Erica Sherer. According to recent data, SHS has delivered
telehealth in 20%-24% of visits. Only 24% of Spanish
speakers accessed telehealth, compared with 76% of
English speakers; and 89% of those accessing telehealth
are white. Barriers to care include lack of access to residential
broadband or financial means to afford cellular/
broadband services.
" This program with the Arapahoe Library District provides
the public with the ability to check out a variety
of equipment like hotspots and laptops for free and
coordinate an appointment with our providers through
the library. A bilingual project coordinator is also on hand to help
walk them through the use of the technology and schedule an
appointment - helping them become more comfortable and less
overwhelmed by telehealth and the technology, " says Sherer.
The goal of this program is to improve digital literacy and provide
digital access to underserved populations. Providing equal
access to resources, education, and support reduces disparities
and promotes health equity in our communities. " Having access
to technology for virtual visits and the confidence to use it ensures
people get the care they need, when they need it. Physical and
mental fitness creates wellbeing, improves lives, and enhances
relationships with others. Everyone should have the chance to be
as healthy as possible, " says Sherer.
A few of the telehealth services offered by Sheridan Health Services
include annual physical exams, counseling and therapy, family
therapy, individual therapy, assessment and evaluation, substance
use treatment, sick visits, diabetes self-management education,
evaluation and treatment of chronic diseases, health and wellness
screenings, medications, nutrition counseling, behavioral health,
specifically: stress, anger management, anxiety, depression, grief
and loss, life transition, trauma and more.
This is a joint project between the Arapahoe Library District,
the CU College of Nursing, and the Colorado Health Foundation.
This service is provided to all patients regardless of the ability to
pay. It is not necessary to live in Sheridan to become a patient.

CU Nursing - Spring/Summer 2022

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