1. Telemedicine has the ability to reach underserved pediatric populations as well as to increase the capacity of physicians and the quality of care provided.
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends increased use of telemedicine as part of the patient-centered medical home and that equitable payment be provided for telemedicine services.
Statement Rundown: Telemedicine, a growing field, is the use of information and telecommunication technology to provide healthcare over a distance. This technology is being increasingly used in a variety of ways to provide healthcare to children. Telemedicine has the potential to improve patient access to care by allowing pediatric physicians to reach more isolated and underserved communities from distant sites. Furthermore, it can also increase the capacity of physicians by improving the efficiency of communication between providers and patients. Various cost analyses have shown that despite the initial investment required for telemedicine, there is significant overall cost savings. A key component of effective telemedicine is careful coordination and avoiding fragmentation of care, which would be best served through a physician-led medical home. The AAP therefore recommends the expansion of telemedicine as part of the patient-centered medical home, increased funding and equitable payment for telemedicine, and further research surrounding the effectiveness of telemedicine.
Relevant Reading: Practical applications of telemedicine for pediatricians.
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