The teleconsultation in general practice. A randomized, controlled study of a remote consultation experiment using a videoconferencing system

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Timonen, Olavi (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v63i3.17739

Objectives. The background to this study was, firstly, the shortage of doctors in the remote areas in Finland and secondly, the possibilities to use new IT-technology to the organization of health care services. The aim was to find out whether it is possible to organize consultations between GPs and patients as remote work through the use of videoconferencing equipment. In literature the results of the studies on teleconsultations in remote areas have been positive in many specialties from the point of view of operating the system, patient satisfaction and costs. However few studies of teleconsultations are available in the area of general practice. The aims of this study were to identify the technical solutions what teleconsultation requires and to report on the implementation of the solutions and process of the teleconsultations. Two hypotheses were to be tested in the study: first that patients treated in the traditional way were more satisfied than teleconsultation patients: the second was that while a sizeable patient group could be treated remotely, teleconsultation would prove to be more expensive than the traditional consultation.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2004; 63(3):289-290)
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