Telemedicine in the Work Site

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A feasibility study, with patient and provider satisfaction

We examined the use of telemedicine for improving access to care in a work-site clinic. A prospective study of 100 patients was conducted over a four-month period in a work site that housed 700 employees. Sinusitis (10 visits), upper respiratory tract infections (9 visits), otitis media (9 visits), hypertension (9 visits) and back pain (8 visits) were the most common reasons for the visits. In 99 visits, clinicians were of the opinion that the telemedicine visit felt similar to a face-to-face visit. For most of the visits (67), patients strongly agreed or agreed that telemedicine had a positive effect on their relationship with the health-care provider. The otoscope, microscope and stethoscope telemedicine peripherals were important in aiding diagnosis (and ruling out other causes) in about 55% of the visits (upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, otitis media, cough, sore throat, nevi, rhinitis and ear wax related concerns). The ability for the patient to watch their ENT examination and see any associated abnormalities was appreciated by many patients. Physicians, nurses and patients were capable of using the technology with little trainiing.

Source for Story:

Prathibha Varkey , Kay Schumacher, Claudia Swanton, Barbara Timm and Philip T Hagen
Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA