Telehealth has a role in the federally sponsored plan for health information technology (HIT) that encompasses electronic health records (EHRs) and the National Health Information Network (NHIN). The goals of telehealth and the national plan are complementary. One focuses on improving access to high quality health-care services and the other on the information systems to support those services. Telehealth needs the fully realized EHR to provide the best possible care when patients are geographically and chronologically separated from their providers. Some current telehealth projects are natural examples of how a distributed, accessible EHR such as that envisaged by the plan can be used to provide better care. The experiences of telehealth in organizing large networks of heterogeneous health-care entities can provide useful lessons as the process of implementing HIT moves forward.