stethoscope_laptopBoth patients and healthcare providers are satisfied with online video-based telemedicine services, according to the results of a study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. The study was comprised of three separate surveys, which gathered opinions from patients, physicians and on-site equipment coordinators about the Missouri Telehealth Network.

Researchers found that 83 percent of 286 patients surveyed said they received skilled care during telehealth video conferences.  Nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) said they would use the service again.

Telemedicine Satisfaction Survey
Launched in 1994 by the MU School of Medicine, the Missouri Telehealth Network connects rural residents with physician specialists at MU Health Care. Twenty-nine different clinical specialty services are now offered, including behavioral health, dermatology and autistic care at 202 sites in 62 of 114 Missouri counties.

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Of the 12 on-site coordinators surveyed, MU School of Medicine researchers found that 67 percent agreed that telehealth appointments were easy to coordinate. Eighty-six percent of 21 physicians surveyed said they were satisfied with the care they were able to provide patients.

¨Although the main concept is to provide health services to patients, for telemedicine to be truly effective, it also must be beneficial to those who provide care,¨ lead author and PhD assistant research professor of telemedicine Mirna Becevic explained in a statement. ¨The goal of our study was to understand satisfaction levels of all telehealth users.”

“Our study confirmed and validated the use of telehealth to care for rural patients,” Becevic added. “Knowing the level of satisfaction among all users allows us to explore the possibility of expanding specialty services such as behavioral health, dermatology and care for autism beyond rural areas to include more urban sites.”

Entitled “User Satisfaction with Telehealth: Study of Patients, Providers and Coordinators,” the report has been published in a recent edition of The Health Care Manager.

Image courtesy of flickr user jfcherry.

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