Thursday, December 10, 2009

Telemedicine for Orthopedics

Orthopedics may be an opportunity for telemedicine. It may be especially useful in the correctional center setting where travel time for an orthopedic physician mY be an inefficient use of a valuable resource. See the abstract below:

Outpatient Orthopedics and the Impact of Telemedicine Upon Costs and Patient Care
Richard M. Garden, MD

Utah Department of Corrections, P.O. Box 250, Draper, UT 84020. Phone: (801)

In an effort to investigate and evaluate a start-up telemedicine program, the first two years of conducting orthopedic clinics via telemedicine were analyzed. These years were compared to the last full year during which all such clinics were conducted off site. The numbers of off-site visits, surgeries, total visits, grievances (patient complaints), and costs associated with on-site telemedicine (telecasts) were compared for years 1997, 1999, and 2000. A major reduction in the need for off-site visits, a small change in costs, a small increase in total utilization, a decrease in orthopedic-related grievances, and minimal changes in the number of surgeries were found. It was concluded that telemedicine is a fruitful endeavor and also offers a few less tangible benefits and lessons learned.

Journal of Correctional Health Care, Vol. 9, No. 1, 53-61 (2002)
DOI: 10.1177/107834580200900106