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A multisite geriatric education program for rural providers in the Veteran Health Care System (GRECC-Connect).

Hung WW, Rossi M, Thielke S, Caprio T, Barczi S, Kramer BJ, Kochersberger G, Boockvar KS, Brody A, Howe JL. A multisite geriatric education program for rural providers in the Veteran Health Care System (GRECC-Connect). Gerontology & Geriatrics Education. 2014 Jan 1; 35(1):23-40.

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Older patients who live in rural areas often have limited access to specialty geriatric care, which can help in identifying and managing geriatric conditions associated with functional decline. Implementation of geriatric-focused practices among rural primary care providers has been limited, because rural providers often lack access to training in geriatrics and to geriatricians for consultation. To bridge this gap, four Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers, which are centers of excellence across the nation for geriatric care within the Veteran health system, have developed a program utilizing telemedicine to connect with rural providers to improve access to specialized geriatric interdisciplinary care. In addition, case-based education via teleconferencing using cases brought by rural providers was developed to complement the clinical implementation efforts. In this article, the authors review these educational approaches in the implementation of the clinical interventions and discuss the potential advantages in improving implementation efforts.

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