As prevalence of autism spectrum disorder continues to increase, so too does the need for timely, accessible diagnostic consultation. The present work extends from a previous study which provided preliminary evidence for the feasibility of expert clinicians to utilize telemedicine to triage autism spectrum disorder risk in young children. However, it did not examine whether a telediagnostic model had a demonstrable impact on tertiary care center referrals and usage. We therefore examined whether the introduction of telemedicine-based diagnostic consultation for families served by a rural medical facility affected referrals overall as well as to a metropolitan tertiary care diagnostic center. Results suggest that telemedicine diagnostic consultation in partnership with a referring early intervention system may positively impact referrals for diagnostic evaluation as well as the ability of families to schedule and attend appointments.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; diagnosis; screening; technology.