Telehealth and telemedicine in Quebec - current issues
Conseil d'Evaluation des Technologies de la Sante du Quebec
Record ID 31998009893
The specific objectives of this report are to: 1) describe in sufficient detail the main current telehealth and telemedicine applications. 2) summarize the anticipated and observed benefits of their use. 3) explain the problems posed by their deployment in Qubecs health-care system.
This report provides an overall description for understanding the significance of the issues associated with telehealth within the context of Quebec's health-care system. In the short term, choices will have to be made: Which applications should be diffused? In which regions? What types of professionals should be involved? Telehealth has thus far evolved somewhat on its own, like a solution in search of a problem. It would now be important to identify the needs and preferences of consumers and health-care providers. Telehealth is an adjunct to an existing network, which it can modify in several respects. The various telehealth applications to be implemented will have an impact on clinical communications, professionals skills and knowledge, and the expense stream in the health network. Our knowledge is still too fragmentary to determine the nature or extent of this impact.
This report concerns the major aspects that need to be examined. The characteristics of telehealth, together with the rapid pace at which telecommunications is evolving, make it impossible to crystallize it into a single assessment. It seems difficult to determine the value added of the applications, which assessments should examine. A break-in period for telemedicine networks will be necessary, during which one will need to be attentive to the human factors and the organizational constraints that affect the use of this technology. If the legal issues are not resolved, it is unlikely that optimal use will be made of telehealth. If there is no assessment or feedback, the use of telehealth and telemedicine applications could remain unsatisfactory and inefficient. In short, it would be important to develop a clear vision of the gains to be realized, to devise a plan for coordinated and gradual diffusion, to develop a flexible assessment approach and to identify the human and organizational factors that help make for optimal telehealth and telemedicine utilization.
English language abstract:
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Conseil d'Evaluation des Technologies de la Santé du Québec
Conseil d'Evaluation des Technologies de la Santé du Québec, 2021, avenue Union, #1040, Montréal, Québec H3A S29, Canada. Tel: 514-873-2563; FAX: 514-873-1369
Conseil d'Evaluation des Technologies de la Sante du Quebec (CETS)