NIH Press Release
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Library of Medicine

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Wednesday, Mar. 12, 1997

Kathy Gardner
(301)496-6308

National Telemedicine Project Receives Kickoff
in District of Columbia

(Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 11, 1997) -- Saying that "the use of telemedicine to monitor patients receiving renal dialysis should improve the quality of patient care, and lower costs to patients, physicians and the health care system," Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director of the National Library of Medicine, a part of HHS' National Institutes of Health, today announced the opening of Georgetown University Medical Center's "Project Phoenix" -- a new first-of-its-kind off-site clinic for renal care patients near Metro Center on Capitol Hill. A press briefing to launch the new telemedicine project is scheduled for Wednesday, March 12, 1997, at 3:00 p.m.: Total Renal Care, Union Center Plaza, 810 First Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. Physicians will demonstrate the system with patients.

Dr. Lindberg, a pioneer in health care computing and communications, added, "Project Phoenix is one of 19 multi-year telemedicine projects in 13 states and the District of Columbia (see attached listing) that the Library is funding to determine the impact telemedicine can have on access to health care as well as its quality and costs. Spanning rural areas, suburbia, and the inner city, this diverse set of projects will also evaluate the use of telemedicine in the care of newborns, children with disabilities, college students, the elderly and chronically ill, trauma patients, and those needing a range of specialist care. At the same time, Project Phoenix and the other telemedicine projects, will assess methods for protecting the confidentiality of electronic health information as recommended in a report released last week by the National Research Council."

More information on telemedicine and detailed descriptions of the 19 projects may be found on the World Wide Web at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov .