Avera eCARE: Medical Student Education in Telemedicine

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Kelly Rhone
Jennifer Lindgren
Luke J. Mack
Morgan E. Nelson
Lindsay Spencer
Susan M. Anderson

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research study is to explore medical student knowledge of and interest in telemedicine services in urban and rural communities. In the past, medical students have reported feeling unprepared to use telemedicine and uninformed about laws regarding telemedicine usage following graduation. However, they also reported that telemedicine training is relevant and important for their future work.


Methods: Study participants included medical students taking part in a two day telemedicine education program in 2018 and 2019. The first day includes a faculty seminar where students are introduced to telemedicine by experts in telemedicine innovations. The second day is a simulation day (SIM) where medical students complete a rotation at the Avera eCARE virtual hospital hub. A survey was given prior to the faculty seminar and re-administered following the SIM day. Questions asked about telemedicine knowledge, curriculum, and willingness to practice via telemedicine.


Results: A Chi-square analysis was used to look for associations’ pre/post by year. Both years show an increase in favorable responses for questions to telemedicine training and education. For analyses by topic area, we created clusters of questions to build scores. T-tests were used to look for associations’ pre/post by year. The analysis resulted in three topic areas to build scores. Both years show a significant increase in both Rating of Overall Knowledge and Interest in Curriculum and Utilization. There is no significant difference in Willingness to Practice.


Conclusions: Results show notable differences in how students perceive and understand telemedicine after structured exposure to telemedicine services. Further, this study demonstrates students' need for and interest in more telemedicine training opportunities in their curriculum. Results demonstrate no significant difference in the willingness to practice in rural settings. Future studies may focus on how telemedicine training is perceived by those more willing to work in rural communities.

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Article Details

Section
Original Research
Author Biographies

Kelly Rhone, Avera eCARE

Medical Director, Outreach and Innovation, Avera eCARE, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Assistant
Professor, University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine, Vermillion, South Dakota

Jennifer Lindgren, Avera eCARE; University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine

Graduate Research Assistant, Avera eCARE, Sioux Falls, SD; Medical Student, University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD

Luke J. Mack, Avera eCARE

Manager, Research and Quality, Avera eCARE, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Morgan E. Nelson, Avera Research Institute

Biostatistician, Avera Research Institute, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; University of South Dakota, Sanford
School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Lindsay Spencer, Avera eCARE

Coordinator, Research Program, Avera eCARE, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; 6Dean, Rural Medicine, University of South Dakota

Susan M. Anderson, University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine

Dean, Rural Medicine, University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, South Dakota