Government relations, government regulations: Jumping through the hoops
Centre for Online Health, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (Impact Factor: 1.54). 02/2002; 8 Suppl 3(6):S3:83-5. DOI: 10.1258/13576330260440970
Over the last decade, telehealth in Australia has been primarily facilitated and driven by government funding. The government now has a major policy initiative in online health. However, in pursuing the broad initiative there is a danger that some of the smaller components can get lost, and this is probably what has happened to telehealth. There appear to be a number of steps required if telehealth in Australia is to keep up the pace of development that occurred in the 1990s, as we move into what is now being called the era of e-health, involving broadband Internet health service delivery. This area is changing extremely rapidly and is increasingly migrating away from the public sector in Australia, where most of the developmental work has occurred, and into the private sector. Many of the issues that require consideration within the domain of e-health in Australia are also relevant to other countries. E-health will significantly change the way that health-care is practised in future, and it is clear that it is the human factors that are more difficult to overcome, rather than the technological ones.
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ABSTRACT: A second-opinion child psychiatry service was piloted for six months in the northern-most two-thirds of Queensland. It provided specialist expertise by telehealth to local multidisciplinary teams of mental health staff. During the study period, 28 videoconferences were performed by the service: nine for administrative purposes, two for educational purposes, and 17 for direct and indirect clinical applications. The mean time between a referral being made and a consultation being performed was 4.7 days (range 1-13). A survey administered to referring and non-referring mental health workers showed that the major barriers to service implementation included the limited allied health applications that were offered, a perceived lack of communication during the implementation phase of the service, and the creation of a new referral network that did not conform to traditional referral patterns in the north of Queensland.
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ABSTRACT: Knowledge translation articulates how new scientific insights can be implemented efficiently into clinical practice to reap maximal health benefits. Modern information and communication technologies can be effective tools to help in the collection, processing, and targeted distribution of information from which clinicians, researchers, administrators, policy makers in health, and the public can benefit. Effective implementation of knowledge translation through the use of information and communication technologies, or technology-enabled knowledge translation (TEKT), would benefit both the individual health professional and the health system. Successful TEKT in health requires cultivation and acceptance in the following key domains: Perceiving types of knowledge and ways in which clinicians acquire and apply knowledge in practice. Understanding the conceptual and contextual frameworks of information and communication technologies applied to health systems, particularly the push, pull, and exchange communication models. Comprehending essential issues in implementation of information and communication technologies and strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities and overcome existing barriers. Establishing a common and widely acceptable evaluation framework in order that researchers can compare various methodologies in their rightful contexts in TEKT research and adoption. Achieving harmony and common understanding in these areas will go a long way in fostering a fertile and innovative environment to encourage research and advance understanding in this exciting domain of TEKT.
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