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Radiology Services For Remote Communities: Cost Minimisation Study Of Telemedicine
Peder Andreas Halvorsen and Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen
BMJ: British Medical Journal
Vol. 312, No. 7042 (May 25, 1996), pp. 1333-1336
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29731738
Page Count: 4
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Radiology, Travel expenses, Health care costs, Unit costs, Solar X rays, Capital costs, Medical referrals, Cost estimates, Health care industry, Recreation
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Objectives—To determine the social costs of providing a rural population with radiology services under three different systems: the existing system (a small x ray unit at the remote site and all other examinations at the nearest radiology department (the host site)); a teleradiology system (most examinations at the remote site and more advanced examinations at the host site); and all examinations at the host site. Design—Cost minimisation study. Setting—Primary health care in a remote community in Norway. Subjects—A randomly selected sample (n=597) of all patients (n=1793) having radiological examinations in 1993. Main outcome measures—Annual direct medical costs, direct non-medical (travel) costs, and indirect costs (lost production) of the three options. Results—After exclusion of costs common to the three systems the direct medical, direct non-medical, and indirect costs of the three options were, respectively, £9000, £51 000, and £31 500 (total £91 500) for the existing system; £108 000, £2000, and £13 500 (total £123 500) for the teleradiology option; and £0, £75 000, and £42 000 (£117 000 in total) for the "all at host" option. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the existing system is the least costly option except when lost leisure is valued as highly as lost production. Conclusion—The teleradiology option did not seem to be cost saving in the study community. Such systems, however, may be justified on the grounds of equity of access and quality of care.
BMJ: British Medical Journal © 1996 BMJ