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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The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
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