Study: Telehealth Does Not Reduce PCP's Workload

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Telehealth may not lead to a significant reduction in primary care physicians' workloads, according to a study published in BMC Health Services Research.

Researchers conducted a randomized trial with 179 primary care practices in the United Kingdom, treating 3,230 patients suffering from diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure. Telehealth interventions utilized in the experimental group (consisting of 1,219 patients) included remote exchanges of vital signs and symptoms.

The results showed telehealth interventions to not be significantly associated with the frequency with which patients contacted their primary care physician or practice nurses. "We did not find evidence that telehealth led to a significant reduction in [primary care physicians'] workload," the study's authors stated, noting a variety of factors within the healthcare system may affect how telehealth impacts these physicians' workloads.

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