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Another Interruption for a Health Care Research Message

By November 19, 2023Commentary

Telehealth, or remote communications using voice and/or video technology has been around for a while.  During the epidemic its use soared.  Telemedicine can obviously improve access where there are scarce medical resources, can lower costs and may be more convenient for many patients.  But whether it results in health care outcomes that are as good as in-person visits is dubious.  A new piece of research suggests that in at least one respect, it may be inferior.  The researchers examined how frequently patients followed up on recommended tests and referrals.  Following a telehealth visit, the rate of compliance was lower, 43%, than after an in-person visit, at 58%.  I must say, I am quite surprised at the general low level of follow through on the follow-up tests and referrals.  It may be that some patients perceived that their issue was resolved, but in many cases this is just another reflection of the lack of personal responsibility for health which results in poor health status.  (JAMA Study)

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  • joethenonclimatescientist says:

    My observation on telemed – is the patient / doctor relationship is just going through the motions without the benefit of the patient having the opportunity to understand and fully comprehend the information provided. When I deal with my staff, I have make sure the staff fully understands the project, its much easier to convey the information and to be able to tell what the staff understands when meeting in person. The same communication issues exist with the doctor patient relationship. Its much easier for the doctor to determine if the patient understands the information provided when done in person.

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