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Critical factors in the development, implementation and evaluation of telemedicine

Critical factors in the development, implementation and evaluation of telemedicine

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With increasing focus on the quality and safety of health care, telemedicine has been used as an important tool by health-care stakeholders to support and enhance timely, equitable and effective health service delivery. While the positive impacts of telemedicine are well recognized, operationalizing and integrating telemedicine within health service delivery continues to face numerous challenges. These wide-ranging challenges include issues with technology, integrating with existing, and access to new, infrastructure, legislative and organizational requirements, stakeholder expectations, change management (as telemedicine is often offered as a new model of care) and financial and business considerations. Without explicit recognition of, and targeted strategies for, addressing these challenges, any telemedicine initiative risks not fulfilling its full potential. Similarly, improvements in telemedicine technologies should be complemented by recognition for and understanding of what works at the health service delivery level. The aim of the chapter is to provide a practical resource for stakeholders in telemedicine that outlines the critical factors that are essential in the development, implementation and evaluation of telemedicine. Using a case-study approach, which will draw on a practical example from the South Australian health-care sector, this chapter brings together evidence from the literature as well as experiences from the frontline of telemedicine. While there is no `one size fits all' approach, this chapter will showcase the critical factors that have been demonstrated to influence the success and sustainability of telemedicine services.

Chapter Contents:

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.1.1 Critical factor 1: address a gap in service
  • 1.1.2 Critical factor 2: clearly defining the purpose of the telemedicine service
  • 1.1.3 Critical factor 3: integrate into the organizational structure
  • 1.1.4 Critical factor 4: the role of change management
  • 1.1.5 Critical factor 5: the crucial role of infrastructure
  • 1.1.6 Critical factor 6: buy-in from stakeholders
  • 1.1.7 Critical factor 7: financial sustainability
  • 1.1.8 Critical factor 8: legislative and policy requirements
  • 1.1.9 Critical factor 9: intersectoral collaboration
  • 1.1.10 Critical factor 10: review and re-focus
  • 1.2 Conclusion
  • 1.3 Future work
  • References

Inspec keywords: telemedicine; health care; medical information systems

Other keywords: telemedicine initiative risks; telemedicine technologies; health-care stakeholders; effective health service delivery; timely health service delivery; equitable health service delivery; telemedicine services; South Australian health-care sector; health service delivery level

Subjects: Biology and medical computing

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