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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


MAHTANI CHUGANI, Vinita et al. Implementation of telemedicine programs in Spain: experience of the main actors involved in the decision-making process. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.3, pp.223e-229. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To identify the main benefits and risks related to the implementation of telemedicine programs in Spain, based on the experience of the actors influencing the decision-making process. Participants and methods: We performed a qualitative study based on audiotaped semi-structured telephone interviews. Eleven interviews were carried out, and the perspective of four physicians, three administrators, two researchers and two telecommunications industry workers were included. Theoretical sampling was used and thematic inductive analysis was performed. Results: The following factors were identified as necessary to successfully resolve problems by using telemedicine programs: the commitment of the persons involved, technological aspects, economic and institutional support, acceptance by healthcare professionals and patients, the existence of protocols adjusted to the context, the need for information and training prior to the development of telemedicine programs, a forward-looking approach, routine use and full acceptance of telemedicine programs in the organization, and the need to defend equity for professionals and users. Conclusions: Successfully developing a telemedicine program requires a favorable environment in which risk can be foreseen. The main key element seems to be the human factor. The factors identified in this study should be considered when developing strategies to increase the chances of success of telemedicine programs in Spain.

Palabras clave : Telemedicine; Qualitative research; Telephone interviews.

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