Telehealth coordinators in hospital based telehealth services: Who are they and what do they do?

Many studies have identified the importance of ‘telehealth coordinators’ for successful telehealth implementation and operation. However, little is known about the telehealth coordinators’ functions, the skills and competencies required and the reasons for their influence.

This study aimed to examine the key functions of telehealth coordinators in the Queensland public health system, their perceptions about their role, and the level of competencies to support this role. All telehealth coordinators within Queensland Health Telehealth Services were invited to complete a questionnaire.

We collected: (i) demographic information; (ii) details of their telehealth work; and (iii) information about knowledge and skills relevant to their telehealth coordinator role. Eighteen of 20 (90%) participants completed and submitted the survey.

Telehealth coordinators were responsible for a range of tasks relating to telehealth consultations, technical assistance, administration, research, promotion and marketing. Nearly all telehealth coordinators (n = 17, 94%) were confident in carrying out the tasks of their job. The majority of telehealth coordinators (n = 13, 72%) thought education and training relating to telehealth would help improve their job.

The top three topics that telehealth coordinators were keen to learn about were: (i) examples of clinical use of telehealth; (ii) types of technologies used; and (iii) telehealth clinical and business models. Our participants were all hospital-based; as the use of telehealth is growing outside of the traditional hospital settings, the role of telehealth coordinators is likely to change.

Source: Telemedicine

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