Exploring the Value of Telehealth in Primary Care: A Controlled Trial within the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Telehealth offers the potential for health service enhancement for primary care at same or lower cost.
The aim will be to investigate the extent to which conventional face-to-face primary care consultations conducted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Qld can be substituted with telehealth-mediated consultations and compare the costs of telehealth consultations and conventional face to face consultations. The study design will be a stepped-wedge cluster pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial; an economic analysis, including an examination of patient perspectives; and an evaluation of the change process. The main outcome measures for the cost effectiveness analysis will be (i) Costs for telehealth set-up, (ii) cost savings for reduced travel, (iii0 cost savings due to reduced aircraft use and (iv) increased patient satisfaction. Sensitivity analyses will identify the minimum patient threshold for telehealth to be more cost effective than convention service delivery.