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Implementation of Telehealth Resources in Primary Care in Brazil and Its Association with Quality of Care.

Implementation of Telehealth Resources in Primary Care in Brazil and Its Association with Quality of Care.

Implementation of Telehealth Resources in Primary Care in Brazil and Its Association with Quality of Care.

Telemed J E Health. 2018 Dec 28;:

Authors: Santos AFD, Mata-Machado ATGD, Melo MDCB, Fonseca Sobrinho D, Araújo LL, Silva ÉA, Lima AMLD, Abreu DMX, Rocha HA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although several reviews on the relation between telemedicine and health care outcomes have pointed out some evidence, they have also underscored the need for further investigation.
INTRODUCTION: Brazil has a national telehealth program implemented in 2007, involving teleconsulting and distance education actions in primary care.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the implementation of telehealth in primary care in Brazil and to identify if there is an association between telehealth and quality of care.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study analyzing data from interviews with 29,778 primary care team professionals in Brazil in 2014, which represents 92.5% of existing health care teams, on aspects of information technology, telehealth, and care was carried out. A multiple binary regression analysis was performed to study the associations between the extent of health care actions and using telehealth.
RESULTS: Of the 24,055 primary care units in Brazil where teams worked, only 50.1% (n: 12,055) had internet access, and 32.71% of teams claimed to be involved in telehealth actions in 2014. Between 2012 and 2014 there was an expansion in the use of telehealth resources in all regions of Brazil. The highest magnitude was observed for the association between employment of telehealth and improvement in child care (odds ratio [OR] = 2.09), followed by diabetes mellitus care (OR = 1.91), hypertension (OR = 1.89), and finally, women's health (OR = 1.86).

PMID: 30592699 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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