Telemedicine: Quality of Care and Efficacy
When 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...