American Board of Telehealth launches certificate for virtual primary care

The American Board of Telehealth announced this week that it is launching a Teleprimary Care Certificate program, geared toward helping primary care providers develop future virtual health strategies.  

The online program will cover a range of topics and best practices, including workflow, regulatory considerations and health equity.

“Teleprimary care is at the forefront of the telemedicine space, but it continues to evolve and expand with the development of new technologies, innovative care models and evolving reimbursement policies,” said ABT Director of Education Whitney Flanagan, RN, in a statement.  

“Telehealth training – whether it’s on the platform, regulations or webside manners – will be critical to long-term success,” Flanagan continued.  


With a shortage of primary care providers, telehealth can offer patients expanded access to care.

But at the same time, many teams were thrust into telemedicine provision out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic without the chance to hone the necessary expertise.  

“Primary care teams need specialized skills to meet the growing demand for telemedicine services and ensure the highest quality care possible for patients,” said Flanagan.  

The topics covered in the certificate program include:  

  • Barriers and opportunities of teleprimary care
  • Operations, workflow and productivity in the ambulatory setting
  • Legal, regulatory and ethical considerations
  • Providing care via a remote medium
  • Health equity and social determinants of health  

The goal is to enable primary care providers to provide services virtually, even as the pandemic landscape changes.  

“As a physician at one of Pennsylvania’s first 100% virtual primary care practices, I can testify to the importance of education in telehealth – and teleprimary care in particular,” said Dr. Salim Saiyed, system vice president and chief medical information officer for UPMC in Central Pennsylvania. Saiyed is also a course director for the certificate program.  


As the pandemic has made patients’ eagerness for telehealth clear, professional organizations have emphasized the importance of equipping providers with formalized education.   

Earlier this year, ABT and the American Telemedicine Association announced they were partnering to expand access to virtual care training, including a CORE Concepts in Telehealth Certificate as well as a forthcoming behavioral telehealth certificate.  

“ABT’s Certificate Program is the gold standard for telehealth education, preparing healthcare providers to use telehealth and virtual care in the delivery of safe, effective, quality care to their patients, wherever and whenever they need it,” said ATA Chief Executive Officer Ann Mond Johnson in a statement at the time.  


“Doctors and care teams need to understand how they can deliver teleprimary care more efficiently and effectively – from the start of the encounter to checkout – and [arrange] any follow-up care needed, so that patients can access the right specialists, for the right test or the right procedure,” said Saiyed.


Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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