Case Study: A Framework for Telehealth Program Evaluation – Telemedicine and eHealth 2014 April v.20 (4) 393-404

Posted on April 9, 2014. Filed under: Telehealth |

Case Study: A Framework for Telehealth Program Evaluation – Telemedicine and eHealth 2014 April v.20 (4) 393-404

Evaluating telehealth programs is a challenging task, yet it is the most sensible first step when embarking on a telehealth study. How can we frame and report on telehealth studies? What are the health services elements to select based on the application needs? What are the appropriate terms to use to refer to such elements? Various frameworks have been proposed in the literature to answer these questions, and each framework is defined by a set of properties covering different aspects of telehealth systems. The most common properties include application, technology, and functionality. With the proliferation of telehealth, it is important not only to understand these properties, but also to define new properties to account for a wider range of context of use and evaluation outcomes. This article presents a comprehensive framework for delivery design, implementation, and evaluation of telehealth services. We first survey existing frameworks proposed in the literature and then present our proposed comprehensive multidimensional framework for telehealth. Six key dimensions of the proposed framework include health domains, health services, delivery technologies, communication infrastructure, environment setting, and socioeconomic analysis. We define a set of example properties for each dimension. We then demonstrate how we have used our framework to evaluate telehealth programs in rural and remote Australia. A few major international studies have been also mapped to demonstrate the feasibility of the framework. The key characteristics of the framework are as follows: (a) loosely coupled and hence easy to use, (b) provides a basis for describing a wide range of telehealth programs, and (c) extensible to future developments and needs.”


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