Telemedicne: Quality Of Care And Efficacy

1609 words - 6 pages

Telemedicine: Quality of Care and EfficacyWhen assessing the quality of care derived from Telemedicine there are a number of factors that are involved in the ability of the physician to provide a level of care that is equivalent or superior to the level of care that is afforded the patient through traditional methods of client communication, diagnostics, and treatment. It is the responsibility of the doctor practicing telemedicine to ensure that the equipment necessary for the telemedical services provided is of sufficiently high standard and adequately operational. The doctor must carefully evaluate the data and other information received, and medical opinions and recommendations can only be given and medical decisions made if the quality and quantity of data or other information received is sufficient and relevant to the case in question.The quality of care in Telemedicine is greatly influenced by the type of technology that is used in the different fields of telemedicine. Telemedicine technology often is a means to facilitate or transmit care, or is used in conjunction with other technologies. Telemedicine uses networks of computers, video cameras and telephone lines to link patients with physicians and other medical practitioners. Electronic stethoscopes and other specialized tools aid diagnosis. It has been hailed as an especially promising way to provide quality and specialty care to people living in remote areas. Because patients and their local physician can consult with distant specialists, they are able to utilize diagnostics that they may not have normally had access to. The technological scope of telemedicine may range from a particular store-and-forward technology or a two-way interactive television system to a full teleconsultation network. As technology improves with the advent of high speed internet, high speed computers, satellite technology, and database improvements it will increase the amount and quality of data and information that can be transmitted through and with different systems. A specific example of measuring effectiveness of technology is provided by the clinical evaluation of Parkinsonian tremor via a teleconsultation. If the patient were to be evaluated over a telemedicine connection that allowed for too few screens per second, the clinician could not appropriately evaluate the tremor, and this technology would be ineffective for this particular indication. One of the areas of improving technology that has had the greatest impact on the advancement of the quality of telemedicine is the use of digital imaging. Digital imaging is used in the capture of images for radiology consultation, the new radiograph systems use a digital capture system that allows the physician to obtain radiographs directly in a digital format which not only increases the quality of the images that are captured but also the quality of images that can be sent over the internet. In the past, radiographic images were captured on hard film and...

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