The key messages from across the MALT project can be thought of as problems/barriers and solutions/recommendations. You can download a copy of the key messages from the whole project here.
1. Evidence and evaluation
Problem: There are ongoing difficulties in demonstrating evidence of benefit from telehealth, and a lack of consistent and robust evaluation data.
Recommendation: There is a need for an improved and consistent evaluation dataset that reflects the diverse aims of telehealth and needs of stakeholders.
2. Stakeholders and rationales
Problem: The stakeholder map for telehealth is complex, varies between services, and is changeable over time. This creates confusion over who should lead telehealth implementation and how benefits can be realised.
Recommendation: Greater recognition of the complexity and diversity of stakeholders (and their varied functions, motivations and rationales) is important.
3. Staff adoption
Problem: Uncertainty amongst clinical staff about the benefits of telehealth limits adoption and acceptance, especially where they act as the gatekeepers to patients.
Recommendation: Raising awareness of telehealth and its potential benefits to clinical practice will help increase adoption, provided that implementation is also well supported.
4. Patient acceptance
Problem: Uncertainty amongst potential patient and carer users about the availability and value of telehealth limits acceptance.
Recommendation: Improving awareness of telehealth and its perceived benefits for patients and carers will help stimulate demand amongst the general public.
5. Business models
Problem: There is not, and will not, be one single effective business model for telehealth.
Recommendation: Scenario planning provides a useful mechanism and process for developing business models that take into account the key issues in telehealth, and can help secure seed funding and sustainability.
Problem: Existing implementation has not taken into account the complexity of the commissioning, delivery, management and acceptance of telehealth, or the links between these domains.
Recommendation: Greater recognition of the complexity and interrelatedness of operational, organisational and financial barriers to the acceptance of telehealth is a critical first step to expanding services.