This pilot project aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a model for delivering primary health care and education in three rural Newfoundland communities by using communications technology. The project analyzed reports from three telehealth sites as well as evaluation forms completed by patients who had used video conferencing or other telehealth applications; researchers also consulted health professionals and technical staff and interviewed key parties, including health care providers. Clients rated telecentre facilities as good or excellent and said that they would use them again. Problems arose, however, with the cost of satellite equipment and the absence of a funding mechanism to compensate doctors for their telehealth work.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.