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Process and quality improvement are crucially important to providing excellent health care. UPMC's research arm is supporting the telehealth program by driving innovation.
Currently, we employ comparative effectiveness research methods to identify the differences between outcomes in patients who receive telehealth services versus patients who are seen in-office. The goal of this research is to ensure that the UPMC Telehealth and 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 telehealth, as opposed to those who follow up in person with their doctors.
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.