Telemedicine to support health care delivery in Nepal: a case study in Kathmandu Model Hospital
The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in healthcare termed as Telemedicine has acted as a tool to improve access and quality in healthcare. In developing countries where a majority of the population resides in remote areas with no essential health care facilities, telemedicine seems to be a solution. Telemedicine has the potential to not only improve access but also to improve health care delivery by supporting or assisting the rural practitioner or local health care provider through ICT. This study was conducted in Kathmandu Model Hospital (KMH) in Nepal in order to have a better understanding of the role of telemedicine in health care of Nepal and find ways to improve telemedicine programs by identifying challenges and issues. A qualitative, interpretative case study approach was used for this research. The research was also guided by theories in telemedicine and information infrastructure. The findings indicated that telemedicine services provided by Kathmandu Model Hospital has increase access to expertise consultations in remote outreach centers including in KMH. The study also shows that telemedicine can empower and support health practitioners by providing trainings and assistance. However, challenges such as a lack of adequate information infrastructure and lack of training of users leading to underuse of technologies were also found. Despite such challenges telemedicine in KMH is an example that health care delivery can be improved and health care practitioners can be empowered by using simple available technologies for basic telemedicine applications such as teleconsultation and tele-education. .
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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