The Symposium-Workshop is to convene thought leaders and practitioners in telemedicine to develop consensus guidelines pertaining to best practices in the design and implementation of telemedicine systems, including organization, technology, finance, and management and operations. The Best Practices Guidelines would: benefit program developers by avoiding inefficient and ineffective practices;serve policymakers and payers in their decision making regarding support and reimbursement for telemedicine;and benefit researchers in identifying the essential attributes of telemedicine (as a modality of care) when delivered in full fidelity, and how to identify and separate contextual variables from the experimental. The Guidelines should enable the design and implementation of optimal telemedicine systems to improve access, contain cost, and enhance quality while accommodating a variable and consistently improving technology. Substantial preparatory work will be completed prior to the 1 1/2 day meeting. Participants will be fully engaged in the discussions to develop a consensus on the issues, and the final outcome will be published and disseminated widely.
The Symposium-Workshop addresses a national need for up to date reliable and authoritative guidelines for the optimal implementation of telemedicine systems in various contexts. This information is vital if telemedicine were to realize its full potential in ameliorating inequity of access, uneven quality and cost inflation, as well as enhancing health system efficiency and effectiveness.