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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(4); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(4): 359-365.
Influence on a Doctorless Island Residents' Health Care Utilization by Video Telemedicine
Dae Heung Yoon, Sun Pyo Kim, Seong Jung Kim, Soo Hyung Cho, Nam Soo Cho
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea. ksp93133@naver.com
Video telemedicine system is efficient method of health care delivery that uses communication technologies via the internet and video-conferring to provide real-time video remote health provider, patient, or both. Video telemedicine system has the potential to improve access to the specialty of emergency medicine, particularly in rural and remote settings. Inadequate maintenance of ongoing health issues can result in high-cost care for both acute illness and long-term complications, whereas prevention of even a small percentage of these costs can pay for the cost of a video telemedicine system.
We visited a doctorless island on September 8th, 2006 and studied the public health status of the citizens, making charts while giving a free medical examination and treatment. We maintained and analyzed the charts for one year and then surveyed citizens to evaluate the effectiveness of video telemedicine system and to query them regarding future remedies.
Out of 178 cases using video telemedicine system, 99 cases were the first medical examination and 12 cases were emergent, with 7 cases resulting in transfer to a mainland hospital. Of the patients transferred to the 3rd grade hospital, 41.4% had a heart problem. Thirty-eight cases were newly diagnosed via video telemedicine system, including 12 cases of vertebral disease (31.5%). 74.0% of citizens were satisfied with the video telemedicine system and among them 45.0% indicated satisfaction with the ease of seeing a doctor. After experiencing video telemedicine system, 100% of the citizens were agreed to continue video telemedicine system on the 'doctorless island', so more support and development is needed.
Evidence suggests that a variety of video telemedicine system techniques can be applied effectively and safely to deliver emergency medicine across a variety of clinical settings. The utility and efficacy of telemedicine is discussed. Patient satisfaction is generally reported as high.
Key words: Telemedicine, Emergency medicine
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