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Process improvement and quality improvement are crucially important to providing excellent health care, and the UPMC research arm is supporting the telemedicine program by driving innovation.
Currently, we are employing comparative effectiveness research methods to delineate the differences between outcomes in patients who receive telemedicine services versus patients who are seen in-office. The goal of this research is to ensure that the UPMC Telemedicine Program is providing a level of care that is consistent with care delivered on-site in Pittsburgh.
In addition to quality and process improvement research, a study is currently under way to determine compliance rates for patients with chronic diseases who are followed by a specialist via telemedicine, as opposed to those who follow up with their PCP only.
This study will highlight the difference between the current and future states of rural medicine, ensuring that patients have increased access to physicians without having to travel long distances.