Patient satisfaction with telemedicine in home health services for the elderly
Young Moon Chae ; Joo Heon Lee ; Jong Uk Won ; Ki Hong Jun ; Hee Ja Kim ; Seung Hee Ho
International Journal of Medical Informatics, Vol.61(2-3) : 167~173, 2001
International Journal of Medical Informatics
In a pilot study of telemedicine in home health services (HHS) for elderly patients, we implemented and evaluated a telemedicine system with a 33-kbs narrow-band approach to determine its effectiveness in providing quality services. Fifty patients were selected for the study. We found that telemedicine was effective in terms of reducing the number of clinic visits and achieving patient satisfaction. The average number of clinic visits per month was significantly decreased from 0.64 to 0.42 (p<0.05) after the use of telemedicine. 72% of patients were satisfied with telemedicine, but only patient location showed a significant difference for patient satisfaction (p<0.05). Patients in their homes (82%) were more satisfied than patients in nursing homes (50%). Of four types of services provided, medical consultation (100%) was the most highly satisfactory service with telemedicine, followed by physical therapy (83.3%). Although the satisfaction scores did not indicate a significant difference in the system characteristics, the quality of verbal communication appeared to be a more important factor in influencing patient satisfaction than set-up time or quality of image. A computer-based patient record was also developed to view a patient summary and to document encounters at the patient's home. Since the system is a low-cost approach that is easy to interface with a notebook computer, it can support various other HHSs.