Telemedicine: Safety Issues Reviewed; Reimbursement Set to Expand

December 19, 2014 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​With access to telemedicine services set to expand for Medicare beneficiaries, a systematic literature review published online November 25, 2014, in BMC Health Services Research identifies 11 common safety risks associated with telehealth and home care and notes that there is no available literature on training home health workers to use telehealth. The 22 studies most frequently named changes to the clinical workflow as a patient safety issue (mentioned 15 times), followed by lack of patient or staff knowledge (13 times), technology issues (9), and changes to staff workload (8). The authors note that the absence of literature regarding staff training "underscores the importance of the development and implementation of comprehensive training and education initiatives to foster the skills, confidence and motivation needed to enable safe use of telecare services."

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