Referral patterns in a global store-and-forward telemedicine system

Wootton, R., Youngberry, K., Swinfen, R. and Swinfen, P. (2005) Referral patterns in a global store-and-forward telemedicine system. Journal of Telemedicine And Telecare, 11 Supp. 2: 100-103. doi:10.1258/135763305775124966


Author Wootton, R.
Youngberry, K.
Swinfen, R.
Swinfen, P.
Title Referral patterns in a global store-and-forward telemedicine system
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine And Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
1758-1109
Publication date 2005-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/135763305775124966
Volume 11
Issue Supp. 2
Start page 100
End page 103
Total pages 4
Editor R. Wootton
E. Krupinski
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of Medicine Press
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject 329999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
730399 Health and support services not elsewhere classified
Abstract We examined the nature of the referral patterns in the email telemedicine network operated by the Swinfen Charitable Trust with a view to informing long-term resource planning. Over the first six years of operation, 62 hospitals from 19 countries registered with the Trust in order to be able to refer cases for specialist advice; 55 of these hospitals (89%) actually referred cases during this period. During the first six years of operation, nearly 1000 referrals were submitted and answered, from a wide range of specialty areas. Between July 2002 and March 2005 the referral rate rose from 127 to 318 cases per year. The median length of time required to provide a specialist's response was 2.3 days during the first 12 months and 1.8 days during the last 12 months. Five hospitals submitted cases for more than four years (together sending a total of 493 cases). Their activity data showed a trend to declining referral rates over the four-year period, which may represent successful knowledge transfer. There is some evidence that over the last three years the growth in demand has been exponential, while the growth in resources available (i.e. specialists) has been linear, a situation which cannot continue for very long before demand outstrips supply.
Keyword Health Care Sciences & Services
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

 
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