What is telementoring?
Telementoring, or technology-enabled mentoring, is the use of telecommunication technology to deliver training, education, and support that builds health care capacity. Telementoring shares best practices with rural and remote areas and increases the capacity of the health care workforce in these communities.
The RTTC provides training, support, and technical assistance for implementing, expanding, and evaluating six telementoring modalities for improving health care delivery:
- Project ECHO
- Individual consultation
- Online modules & curricula
- Community Health Clubs
Why Telementoring for Rural Health?
Workforce shortages in the field of public health and health care are significant. Limited career opportunities, lower compensation, and frequent staff turnover pose significant challenges to rural and public health systems, which already operate with slender budgets and minimal staff. In spite of this, these systems must provide a full array of services to the community they serve. This gap between workforce and service highlights the opportunity for connecting rural health workers with the rest of their profession at a local, regional, and national scale to deliver training, ongoing support, and mentorship. While traditional training and mentorship opportunities can be hindered by administrative, scope of practice, and interpersonal challenges, telementoring capitalizes on recent advances in communications technology to deliver scalable, sustainable methods for training the rural health workforce and connecting them with advisors in academic medical centers. This approach expands the mentor/mentee pool, makes educational resources more easily available, and supports the growth of rural health workers.