Impact of a university-based outpatient telemedicine program on time savings, travel costs, and environmental pollutants

Dullet, Navjit W., Geraghty, Estella M., Kaufman, Taylor, Kissee, Jamie L., King, Jesse, Dharmar, Madan, Smith, Anthony C. and Marcin, James P. (2017) Impact of a university-based outpatient telemedicine program on time savings, travel costs, and environmental pollutants. Value in Health, 20 542-546. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2017.01.014

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Author Dullet, Navjit W.
Geraghty, Estella M.
Kaufman, Taylor
Kissee, Jamie L.
King, Jesse
Dharmar, Madan
Smith, Anthony C.
Marcin, James P.
Title Impact of a university-based outpatient telemedicine program on time savings, travel costs, and environmental pollutants
Journal name Value in Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1098-3015
1524-4733
Publication date 2017-03-06
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jval.2017.01.014
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 20
Start page 542
End page 546
Total pages 5
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective

The objective of this study was to estimate travel-related and environmental savings resulting from the use of telemedicine for outpatient specialty consultations with a university telemedicine program.

Methods

The study was designed to retrospectively analyze the telemedicine consultation database at the University of California Davis Health System (UCDHS) between July 1996 and December 2013. Travel distances and travel times were calculated between the patient home, the telemedicine clinic, and the UCDHS in-person clinic. Travel cost savings and environmental impact were calculated by determining differences in mileage reimbursement rate and emissions between those incurred in attending telemedicine appointments and those that would have been incurred if a visit to the hub site had been necessary.

Results

There were 19,246 consultations identified among 11,281 unique patients. Telemedicine visits resulted in a total travel distance savings of 5,345,602 miles, a total travel time savings of 4,708,891 minutes or 8.96 years, and a total direct travel cost savings of $2,882,056. The mean per-consultation round-trip distance savings were 278 miles, average travel time savings were 245 minutes, and average cost savings were $156. Telemedicine consultations resulted in a total emissions savings of 1969 metric tons of CO2, 50 metric tons of CO, 3.7 metric tons of NOx, and 5.5 metric tons of volatile organic compounds.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates the positive impact of a health system’s outpatient telemedicine program on patient travel time, patient travel costs, and environmental pollutants.
Keyword Cost analysis
Health economics
Telemedicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Faculty of Medicine
 
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Created: Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 08:51:28 EST by Burke, Eliza on behalf of Centre for Health Services Research