Overcoming the Barriers of Telemedicine

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“Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status” (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.) Telemedicine is a tool that enables providers to deliver health care services to patients at distant location, and it is often promoted as a means of addressing the imbalances in the distribution of health care resources (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.) Telemedicine can be as simple as a telephone conversation among two doctors at different locations or as complex as using satellite technology to provide a consultation between a doctor and a patient that are located in different countries. Telemedicine can also include the use of e-mail, smart phones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technologies (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.) According to Wager, Lee, and Glaser there are two delivery methods that can be used to connect providers with providers or providers with patients (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157.) The first is called store to forward, which is used transferring digital images from one location to another (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157). The second is called two-way interactive video conferencing, which is used when a face-to-face consultation is required (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157). Using two-way interactive video conferencing can allow specialist provider’s access to their patients in rural communities without having to travel. The military and in university research, there are other forms of telemedicine such as robotic equipment used for telesurgery. Telemedicine can make specialty care more accessible to rural and medically underserved communities and can easily connect providers a... ... middle of paper ... ... are many concerns that should be addressed by all medical facilities, no matter the size. Those being: user verification, access, authentication, security, and data integrity. Conclusion Telemedicine, is going to continue to expand, according to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), approximately 200 telemedicine networks have been established nationwide, and more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals use at least one telemedicine service (Frederick, 2013, p. 12). Telemedicine hold a great promise in health information technology, it not only promises to improve health care delivery but it also aids in serving the most vulnerable of patients. Both providers and patients in order for it to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations, thus, reducing health disparities, and lowering health care costs across the spectrum must broadly accept Telemedicine.
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