The Impact of Telehealth Video-Conferencing Services on Work Systems in New Zealand: Perceptions of Expert Stakeholders
Telehealth, the provision of health care services at a distance, is one way to address increasing problems of resource scarcity and equity of access to healthcare. However, the literature suggests there are difficulties with embedding telehealth into routine care and that in the complex system of healthcare consideration of the multiple system components would perhaps aid understanding. Using video-conferencing for the delivery of services is one approach to telehealth and the most commonly used in New Zealand. In this study, a sociotechnical systems approach was used to explore the perspectives of an expert stakeholder group regarding the current characteristics of telehealth video-conferencing services and the impact of these services on work systems. Twenty semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Preliminary analysis suggest that key themes include initial experiences of using the technology, changes in the way of working, support to provide and receive telehealth, collaboration, leadership and funding models. The themes are interrelated across the work system components and system mismatches are emerging which may be significant in explaining the lack or slower than expected realization of telehealth goals.
KeywordsTelehealth Video-conferencing Sociotechnical systems theory
The participation of the NZ Telehealth Forum members is greatly appreciated. Nicola Green acknowledges the support of Massey University, by means of the Massey University Conference Presentation Grant.
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