Telemedicine is an area with a special focus on the health care sector in these years, as there are big expectations for the gains. In the national plan of action for the distribution of telemedicine from 2012, it is expected that telemedicine can give economical gains and contribute to better and more cohesive continuity of care as well as better usage of resources.
The assessment had the aim to clarify gains and challenges in the project National Distribution of Telemedical Wound Evaluation with focus on venous leg wounds and diabetic foot wounds, as well as collecting experience with the use of telemedicine across sectors in Denmark. The focus was especially on the extent of distribution of telemedical wound evaluation and the organisational changes. The assessment was structured after the Model for Assessment of Telemedicine (MAST).
The evaluation shows that telemedical wound evaluation is distributed in all regions of Denmark. There is a big 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 are according to the staff improved. Furthermore, the staff are experiencing other gains but also challenges with the implementation.
Existing studies have also shown big satisfaction for the patients but it can in this assessment not be documented clinical and economical effects of the project, as there is nothing about this published in it. Therefore, results from two Danish projects is presented in the assessment which in more ways than one can be compared with the national project.
Generally, 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, at it has, among other things, shown which challenges there have been in correlation to the implementation of telemedical wound evaluation, but also organisational advantages from telemedical wound evaluation, for one thing, better cooperation and communication between staff members from municipalities and hospitals.
Furthermore, there has been made an assessment of the economical evaluation of telemedical wound evaluation.