Korean J Fam Med 2011; 32(6): 341-351  
Attitude of Korean Primary Care Family Physicians Towards Telehealth
Ji-Eun Kim, Yun-Mi Song*, Joo-Hyun Park, Jae-Ri Lee
Department of Family Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Published online: September 20, 2011.
© Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

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Abstract
Background: Recently, a revised telehealth legislation that allows direct doctor to patient teleconsultation was proposed in Korea. However, there have been some debates. This study aimed to examine the attitude of primary care physicians towards telehealth.
Methods: A questionnaire asking attitude towards telehealth and revised telehealth legislation was self-administered to 1,988 registered members of Practitioners Council of Korean Academy of Family Medicine. A total of 218 complete responses by family physicians were included in the study.
Results: Large proportion (60.6%) of participants disagreed to the main clause of revised telehealth legislation, which allowed doctor to patient teleconsultation. Participants tended to expect that negative outcomes are more likely to occur than positive outcomes after the enforcement of the revised telehealth legislation. Around 50% of participants had an intention to adopt telehealth just as soon (4.6%) or afterwards (45.4%). The majority of participants suggested that; primary care clinic as the most appropriate telehealth facility (75.4%); patients with low accessibility to medical care (74.3%) as the best target of telehealth service; and tele-radiology (61.9%) or tele-pathology (41.3%) as the most applicable medical fi eld for telehealh service. Around 89% of participants suggested telehealth service fee to be similar or higher than current medical consultation fee. Conclusion: The majority of family physicians participating in this study were not in favor of the revised telehealth legislation. However, the majority of the participants had an intention to adopt telehealth to their practice and held clear opinion about practical aspects of telehealth.
Keywords: Telemedicine; Family Physician; Private Practice; Attitude


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