Patient satisfaction is an important metric for the evaluation of telemedicine applications to be able to provide patient-centred care. This paper analyses trends in patient satisfaction reporting of telemedicine applications, specifically comparing three telemedicine classes (store-and-forward, realtime consultation, telecare) and the two study stages of pilot and routine delivery. We also discuss the methods used to acquire satisfaction. This paper aims to challenge current approaches and provide recommendations on improving satisfaction evaluation of new telemedicine applications towards provision of patient-centred care. Literature searches were conducted for selected telemedicine studies which report measures of satisfaction from sources of Web of Knowledge and PubMed. Evaluations of patient satisfaction were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Our analysis reports that patient satisfaction evaluation is insufficient. However, an increased trend has been detected, which was most evident in the major growth area of telecare. Evaluations are not as actively performed in the routine delivery stage as the pilot stage. Our qualitative analysis found that measuring methods used are usually unsophisticated, poorly described, and often fails to allow patients to communicate their experience in a useful manner. Great attention must be paid to address overall deficiencies in the important area of patient satisfaction evaluation. Satisfaction evaluations are necessarily telemedicine class-specific with an emphasis on telecare applications. There is an obvious need to adopt standard methodologies for measuring satisfaction and ways of incorporating this into economic evaluation, to ensure comparability of data and applications, and not least to compel researchers to adopt an agreement on the dimensions of satisfaction to be evaluated.
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- Patient Satisfaction Evaluation of Telemedicine Applications Is Not Satisfactory
Sally I. McClean
Duncan E. Jackson