Your Name and Title: Nick Martin - Telehealth Coordinator

Library, School, or Organization Name: Delaware Libraries

Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Delaware, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Library administration, community organizations, technology-driven librarians

Short Session Description (one line): The Delaware Libraries has launched an initiative that provides technology access through private-use telehealth kiosks, piloted in three rural libraries, designed to enhance remote access to health and human services.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like): 

We are living in both a healthcare and an internet access crisis. Since 2012, the State of Delaware has seen depression rates increase by 33% and drug overdose deaths increase by 122%. We also see reports from the Census that 16% of households statewide still do not have internet access. Instead of focusing on the aftermath of the crisis, public libraries need to treat the symptoms, specifically simple and equitable access to health and social services. 

The Delaware Libraries are solving this by setting up telehealth booths statewide, leveraging our reputability as a safe space in the community and our high-speed Internet infrastructure. We have already deployed three booths in key rural libraries in the state. These soundproof booths are equipped with HEPA filtration, UV sanitization, and an iPad for all services. Despite its name, we envision patrons using the telehealth booths for other social services including legal matters, immigration help, and job interviews. Each booth is staffed with a “Navigator” who is there to help patrons schedule appointments and assist with technology. We are planning to partner with healthcare systems to extend the reach of their offerings into the community. While currently at three public libraries, the telehealth program is expected to expand to 12-15 additional public libraries in Delaware later this year. This program is the first statewide library-led telehealth initiative in the country, and it is fitting that Delaware, the “First State”, be at the forefront.

Expected outcomes of this program include patrons accessing healthcare and behavioral health support for the first time, decreased lead time to see providers, and overall increased traffic to public libraries across the state. While visiting their local library, patrons can discover the multitude of other programs and events that are happening right in their community.

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