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Inside Course Development at the American Board of Telehealth

Insights from Whitney Flanagan, BAN, MBA, RN-BC, ABT’s Director of Education

Growing up with both of my parents being teachers, I found that educators seemed to possess a genetic disposition to distill information into a form others understand it…that is, to teach.”.

Yet, I decided to become a nurse, instead of a high school science teacher, due to the care I received from nurses who treated me during my freshman year in college. I played college basketball, and during a routine physical, the physician discovered a mass on my thyroid gland. After multiple tests, I had surgery to remove a benign mass. I was enamored with the nursing staff who took such good care of me during this overwhelming experience.

Once I earned my nursing degree, I worked on ortho-surgery and trauma units, intense departments with high turnover rates. As such, I assisted with nursing orientation and mentoring and taught a course for any nurse who was mentoring a new nurse or student. I also created regulatory education processes and oversaw the continuing medical/nurse education (CME/CNE) programs for Avera Health System before I moved to Avera eCARE. And now, as Director of Education, I’m creating high-quality, relevant education on behalf of the American Board of Telehealth (ABT).

Our ABT team implemented the Delphi process with the Harvard Physician Group to develop our first course CORE Concepts in Telehealth. This consensus approach set the standard for our course development, and we launched this initial course in September 2020.

Telemedicine advanced rapidly during the pandemic. And now, while more widely accepted by clinicians and patients, our courses must apply to diverse medical / nursing specialties and telehealth modalities. We have avenues for extensive feedback before, during and after course content development, a process I consider vital to quality and relevance.

Recent revisions to the CORE Concepts course include:

  1. Extra resources to apply content to daily practice, including charts, infographics and other visuals.
  2. Customized handouts that prompt easy note taking.
  3. New content in the reimbursement module with additional payment information, available grants and interactive learning pieces.

Gathering feedback from people who practice telehealth across the country is one the favorite parts of my job. I am astounded by the innovative knowledge and energy brought to our courses by this telehealth network. They want what’s best for telehealth, a philosophy we all seem to have in building telehealth certificate courses that advance quality patient care and outcomes.

Learn more about the Telehealth Certificate Program from the American Board of Telehealth.

Published on May 13, 2021