Case-Based Telehealth Training for Primary Care Providers of Adults with IDD

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Principal Investigator: Elise McMillan, J.D.


The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and its partners are seeking at least 20 Tennessee community-based primary care providers to participate in a new telehealth project aimed at improving care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

What is the content?

Few community physicians have much experience in serving adults with IDD, and medical programs provide minimal disability-related training. The one-hour trainings will help providers work more effectively with people with IDD and will build on and include content from the IDD Toolkit, an online resource for health care for people with IDD.

Who is delivering it?

A panel of experienced clinicians in internal and family medicine, psychiatry, neurology, psychology/behavioral health, occupational therapy, and nursing will discuss case studies, offer practical advice on managing health concerns, and didactic presentations on specific topics (e.g., sleep disorders, psychotropic medication management) in this population


Our use of technology will allow busy medical professionals to connect through their office computers to a grand-rounds type of presentation that will permit give-and-take between the panel and the participants as well as among the participants at a time that is convenient. We ask that physicians agree to participate in at least eight of 10 sessions over the course of one year.

We will measure outcomes with pre- and post-surveys regarding knowledge and comfort levels in treating patients with IDD, and we will ask providers to rate— before and after training—their likelihood of referring to a tertiary medical center for subspecialty care.


Our intent in providing easy-to-access, case-based telehealth training is to build the capacity of health care providers across the state to serve the needs of adults with IDD in their communities. By having a well-trained primary care provider, patients might have less need to rely on hospital emergency departments or specialists for routine care. In addition, we hope the rate of polypharmacy, particularly psychotropic medications, will be reduced.

Funding for this project is provided by the Special Hope Foundation of Palo Alto, Calif.

Participant Criteria

At least 20 Tennessee community-based primary care providers, including physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician's assistants.


CME credit will be awarded for the eight or more sessions completed. There is no charge to participate in this educational activity.

Visit Requirements

Ten 1 hour sessions on the computer/one per month


Download Brochure

Contact Information

Janet Shouse

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