Telemedicine follow-up of burns: lessons learned from the first thousand visits
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Telemedicine is an evolving technology that is used for health education, health care administration, and health care distribution. The potential benefits of telemedicine include a decrease in travel expenses, improved continuity of care, and increased access to specialized consultants, thus meeting the needs of patients, practitioners, and communities. Telemedicine has many evolving applications, including improved access to health care in medically underserved and rural areas. Regions Burn Center assessed the efficacy and efficiency of burn visits via telemedicine and identified the barriers and benefits specific to burn care. Information regarding travel costs and financial data were evaluated from a total of 1000 burn follow-up visits with 294 patients via telemedicine during a 5-year interval. Our results indicate that telemedicine burn visits are a cost-effective clinical alternative for the patient. However, telemedicine can be a financial burden to health care systems and inefficient for health care providers.
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