The Missouri Telehealth Network exists to enhance access to care to underserved areas of Missouri through traditional telehealth as well as Show-Me ECHO. MTN also provides educational opportunities for health care providers and research opportunities to clinicians who want to study via telehealth.
MTN has a 2 gigabit (2G) backbone infrastructure on the MOREnet network. This is a robust, reliable and secure network. This network connects to the Internet via a high-speed intrastate network consisting of six major circuits connecting several major population centers in the state. The six major circuits form the network backbone, which functions like an interstate highway. All MTN sites use the backbone to connect to each other.
Missouri Telehealth Network began in 1994 as one of the nation's first public-private partnerships in telehealth. A ten site network was initially developed with federal support coming from the Health Resource and Services Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy and private support coming from telecommunication companies, as well as each telehealth site. Today, the network is funded with federal, state and institutional dollars. This continues to include financial support from Missouri Telehealth Network sites.
The Missouri Telehealth Network has provided services in many different medical specialties, with a majority of the work coming from radiology, mental health, dermatology and cardiology. This usage brings specialized care to underserved, rural areas of Missouri in a manner that is convenient to both patient and provider.
The Missouri Telehealth Network has the experience and expertise to train start up telemedicine programs in all crucial areas: clinical, technical, operational, legal and regulatory, manage existing and new sites, and increase access to health care via telehealth services for rural Missourians. Currently Missouri Telehealth Network oversees the entire network which consists of hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Mental Health Centers, Critical Access Hospitals, Community Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics and a host of other types of health care facilities.
Besides training start up telemedicine programs MTN also has experience in the following areas:
- providing technical assistance to other telehealth networks;
- business and strategic planning;
- evaluation of satisfaction, cost analysis, concordance in diagnosis and treatment of various telehealth modalities;
- telehealth policy activities;
- educational outreach; and
- information dissemination