The reported benefits of telehealth for rural Australians

Australian Health Review : a Publication of the Australian Hospital Association
Jennifer J Moffatt, Diann S Eley

Abstract

A literature review was conducted to identify the reported benefits attributed to telehealth for people living and professionals working in rural and remote areas of Australia. Scopus and relevant journals and websites were searched using the terms: telemedicine, telehealth, telepsychiatry, teledermatology, teleradiology, Australia, and each state and territory. Publications since 1998 were included. The initial search resulted in 176 articles, which was reduced to 143 when research reporting on Australian rural, regional or remote populations was selected. A narrative review was conducted using an existing 'benefits' framework. Patients are reported to have benefited from: lower costs and reduced inconvenience while accessing specialist health services; improved access to services and improved quality of clinical services. Health professionals are reported to have benefits from access to continuing education and professional development; provision of enhanced local services; experiential learning, networking and collaboration. Rural Australians have reportedly benefited from telehealth. The reported improved access and quality of clinical care available to rural Australians through telemedicine and telehealth may contribute to...Continue Reading

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