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Providing Telehealth Services to a Public Primary Care Network: The Experience of RedeNUTES in Pernambuco, Brazil.

Diniz, Paula Rejane Beserra; Ribeiro Sales, Fernando José; de Araújo Novaes, Magdala.
Telemed J E Health; 22(8): 694-8, 2016 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Mar 2016 | ID: mdl-26953495
Resumo: BACKGROUND: Information technologies have been applied in primary care domains to improve the delivery of health services. This article reports the telehealth network experience in Pernambuco, Brazil. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five different data sets were used, one by each service and the structural aspects of the network, collected from 2008 until August 2015. The data include solicited themes for educational activities, users' evaluation of services, numbers of sites, municipalities participating, participants in tele-education activities, teleconsultations, telediagnosis, and remote screenings. The analysis was done in absolute and percentage values using Microsoft Excel (version 2007). RESULTS: The indicators show high utilization of tele-education resources, followed by the teleconsultation service. The synchronous modality was the most used and the general clinical question was the most frequent type of question. Nurses are the professional category that most used the teleconsultation services (36%). Telediagnosis of electrocardiography has growth utilization, overcoming teleconsulting more recently. The satisfaction rate was 89%, and 68.5% of professionals changed their planning to patients' referrals to specialists. CONCLUSIONS: Telehealth has been considered effective since it avoids inappropriate referrals of the patient and provides continuous actualization to health professionals. Our results provide evidence of the feasibility and importance of using telehealth as a tool to ensure the universality, equality, and completeness in the health system.