Assessment of National Distribution of Ulcer Tele-Monitoring
Telemedicine is an area the healthcare sector is especially focused on in recent years, as there are big expectations for what can be gained by it. In the national plan of action for the distribution of telemedicine from 2012, it was expected that telemedicine would give economical gains and contribute to better and more cohesive continuity of care as well as better usage of resources.
The assessment aimed to clarify gains and challenges in the project National Distribution of Ulcer Tele-Monitoring with focus on venous leg wounds and diabetic foot ulcers, as well as collecting experience with the use of telemedicine across sectors in Denmark. The focus was especially on the extent of distribution of ulcer tele-monitoring and the organisational changes. The assessment was structured after the Model for Assessment of Telemedicine (MAST).
The evaluation showed that telemedical wound evaluation was widely distributed in all regions of Denmark. There was significant satisfaction with the technical solution and the accomplished competency development of the staff in municipalities and at hospitals. The cooperation and the communication between the municipality nurses and the staff at hospitals was, according to the staff, improved. Furthermore, the staff experienced other work-related gains but also challenges with the implementation.
Existing studies have also shown great satisfaction for the patients, but in this assessment, clinical and economical effects of National Distribution of Ulcer Tele-Monitoring cannot be documented, as these types of results have not been included. Therefore, results from two Danish projects comparable with the national project is presented in the assessment.
Because of large differences in the organisational setup, it is difficult to talk about country-wide effects. The project is the first of its kind on a national level, and it has, among other things, shown the challenges connected to the implementation of ulcer tele-monitoring, but also organisational advantages from ulcer tele-monitoring, such as better cooperation and communication between staff members from municipalities and hospitals.
There has also been an assessment of the economical evaluation of ulcer tele-monitoring.
The evaluation was funded by the Foundation for Welfare Technology.