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J Telemed Telecare. 2005;11 Suppl 1:74-6.

Improved access to subspecialist diabetes care by telemedicine: cost savings and care measures in the first two years of the FITE diabetes project.

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University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


We have used telemedicine clinics supplemented by online education to provide effective care for children with diabetes. Before the programme began, the mean interval between visits was 149 days; in year 1 of the programme it was 98 days, and in year 2 it was 89 days. Before the programme, there were on average 13 hospitalizations a year (47 days) and this decreased to 3.5 hospitalizations a year (5.5 days). Emergency department visits decreased from 8 to 2.5 per year. On 10 occasions after the programme started, ketosis was managed by telephone intervention alone, relying on family-initiated calls. Over 90% of patients and family members expressed satisfaction with the telemedicine service and wished to continue using it. In all, 95% felt little self-consciousness. Over 90% felt their privacy was respected. The programme saved US dollar 27,860 per year. The present study demonstrated improved access to specialized health care via telemedicine in combination with online education improved health status and reduced costs by reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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