- Illinois: A team of five surgeons at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, successfully separated a 10-month-old infant, Dominque, from her parasitic twin in a rare, complex procedure. Dominque's twin, who never fully developed, fused with her in the womb, resulting in Dominque being born with a total of four legs and two, closely intertwined spines. In the surgery, doctors removed the additional legs, but they left both spines—the surgeons said they do not anticipate that having two spines will affect Dominque. Dominque is currently staying with a foster family in the Chicago area until she is well enough to return home to the Ivory Coast (Strickland, CNN, 3/21).
- Louisiana/Washington, D.C.: Former Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), a physician, this week said he has accepted a position at HHS as deputy assistant secretary for health technology. According to Fleming, the position will focus on discovering ways to improve how health care professionals use technology to provide care. Fleming's start date has not yet been announced (Rainey, The Times-Picayune, 3/20).
- Vermont: Sarah George—the state's attorney for Chittenden County, the most populous county in Vermont—has asked a committee of health and law enforcement officials to mull the possibility of establishing a safe injection site for people who misuse heroin and opioids. The facility, aimed at curbing overdoses and facilitating substance misuse treatment, would provide medical supervision, overdose-reversal drugs, clean needles, and access to care (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/22).
Why telehealth technology isn't enough
There are dozens of telehealth technologies to choose from. But planners who ask, "What technology should I invest in?" are focusing on the wrong question.
Technology is a tool that enables strategy, not a stand-alone solution. To build a successful strategy that effectively leverages telehealth technology, start by asking these three targeted questions.