Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Purpose: There is substantial and growing literature on the implementation of telemedicine for health management. This article reviews current literature and telemedicine (TM) utility to guide future considerations for more robust integration into the United States military primary care setting to ensure sustained individual medical readiness (IMR).
Method: A literature search commenced utilizing PubMed and the Google Scholar search engine. Additionally, Google Scholar results were cross-referenced against PubMed. The University of Lynchburg Knight-Capron Library website served as the portal to access the PubMed database.
Results: The extensive research about telemedicine suggests that the established hierarchy of evidence applies to questions relating to telemedicine. The query using the key terms "telemedicine" or "telehealth" and combinations of "access to care" and "patient satisfaction" produced 11 relevant articles, one being a full citation match. The "military telemedicine" search produced eight articles containing considerations and examples regarding telemedicine service expansion to deliver care.
Conclusion: Telemedicine is a viable extender for established care constructs that can significantly improve IMR completion. Adapting health care delivery to current demands is essential. Leveraging the lessons learned from its previous capabilities and other organizations, the Department of Defense (DOD) will need to commit greater resources to the structure and design of the garrison level TM platform. The platform may augment garrison primary care workflow with designated medical readiness clinic hours or become the foundation for dedicated medical readiness telemedicine teams and clinics.
Conboy CL. Tele-Ready: Leveraging Telemedicine to Secure Military Medical Readiness. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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