Defining evaluation indicators for telemedicine as a tool for reducing health inequities: Study and results of a community of practice
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This report presents the opinion of participants in a discussion forum on “Defining Evaluation Indicators for Telemedicine Projects,” convened by the Pan American Health Organization, and held in April and May 2015. In all, 52 people from at least 13 countries in Latin America were registered in the introductory forum. The participants were very clear on the variety of definitions of telemedicine and on the implications of its inclusion in the term “telehealth”. The greatest benefit discussed was “access and timeliness”. They thought that telemedicine projects were not and should not be understood simply as technology projects, but rather were health interventions that relied on and/or used information and communications technologies (ICTs) for service delivery. For the participants, the differences and similarities between telemedicine and health services not provided through ICTs were that, while both basically were health services, the interface created a new paradigm both for the user and the beneficiary. They found that the greatest challenge in terms of evaluation was the lack of knowledge on use of telemedicine, which hindered the development of reliable evaluation indicators. Another challenge was that evaluation should occur in every phase of the project, both comprehensively and in individual processes. The participants thought that early phases of telemedicine projects should be evaluated systematically, mainly with regard to feasibility and acceptability. They considered it important to measure the health impact of telemedicine projects despite the difficulties inherent in the complex multicausal processes typical of this type of project.The activity reflected in this document received financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and from the Rockefeller Foundation, through Grant No. 156021 “Equity, Health and Human Development Information”
Definición de indicadores para proyectos de telemedicina como herramienta para la reducción de las inequidades en salud: documento de análisis y resultados de una comunidad de prácticas
Category of PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019
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