Opinions on the Role of Telehealth in a Large Midwest Academic Health Center: A Case Study

Telemed J E Health. 2019 Dec;25(12):1250-1261. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0259. Epub 2019 Jan 9.


Introduction: Varying terms such as telemedicine, telehealth, and e-Health have increasingly been incorporated into medical education and clinical practice. While there is some variability in this adoption, our interest was in the opinions about the role these terms have in a large Midwestern academic health center (medical school and practice plan) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Materials and Methods: Two separate studies were conducted, one with medical students and the other with clinicians. Both studies were conducted at the University of Cincinnati. Two different questionnaires were sent to the two groups. The questionnaires were designed to solicit feedback on terminology, awareness, utilization, and perception. Several questions used a Likert scale to gauge knowledge in key areas. Results: Eighty-two medical students with an average age of 24.5 ± 2.3 years responded to the questionnaire. Most students were in their first or second year of medical school, and a majority had a Bachelor of Science degree (73.2%). A majority (84.2%) of the students indicated a knowledge of telehealth/telemedicine in clinical practice but were less likely to recommend its application. There were 155 clinician respondents, of whom the majority (95%) were primary care physicians. The majority of the respondents were more comfortable with the term telehealth rather than telemedicine. Most physicians felt that more training was needed and they expressed that management and organizational norms limited the adoption of telehealth and telemedicine. Conclusion: Two separate studies were conducted at a large Midwestern academic health center. Students and clinicians expressed awareness of the terminology and a need for more educational opportunities and training to further integrate these terms and concepts in both the educational and clinical arms of medicine.

Keywords: academia; curriculum; medical personnel; medical student; telehealth; telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ohio
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*