Telemed J E Health - Telemedicine in Alentejo.

Tópicos

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Resumo

Alentejo covers a third of Portugal, yet it is home to only 5% of the population. Residents of the region are poorer, older, and less educated than the rest of the country. There is a shortage of physicians in several specialties. The low population density, a concentration of specialized services, and a poor public transportation network all create barriers to access. Telemedicine was introduced in 1998 to help address these challenges. In this article, we provide an overview of the program and its current status, focusing on infrastructure, services, and activity volume. We also discuss the impact the program has had from the perspectives of patients and healthcare professionals. From 1998 to 2011, there were 132,546 episodes of service using telemedicine, including real-time teleconsultations, teleradiology, teleultrasound, and telepathology. At present, the network includes 20 primary care units and five hospitals, covering almost 30,000 km(2) and 500,000 people. Units have high-resolution videoconferencing equipment, access to patients' clinical records, an image archive, and peripherals, such as electronic dermatoscopes and phonendoscopes. Teleconsultations are available in 15 medical specialties and areas, ranging from neurology to pediatric surgery. In 2008, regional health authorities started a tele-education program, and by the end of 2011, 876 healthcare professionals, across 52 locations, had participated in remote learning sessions. More than a decade since telemedicine was introduced in Alentejo, it is now an integral part of everyday service provision. A comprehensive assessment of the costs and consequences of the program is currently underway.

Resumo Limpo

alentejo cover third portug yet home popul resid region poorer older less educ rest countri shortag physician sever specialti low popul densiti concentr special servic poor public transport network creat barrier access telemedicin introduc help address challeng articl provid overview program current status focus infrastructur servic activ volum also discuss impact program perspect patient healthcar profession episod servic use telemedicin includ realtim teleconsult teleradiolog teleultrasound telepatholog present network includ primari care unit five hospit cover almost km peopl unit highresolut videoconferenc equip access patient clinic record imag archiv peripher electron dermatoscop phonendoscop teleconsult avail medic specialti area rang neurolog pediatr surgeri region health author start teleeduc program end healthcar profession across locat particip remot learn session decad sinc telemedicin introduc alentejo now integr part everyday servic provis comprehens assess cost consequ program current underway

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