Cost-analysis of teledentistry in residential aged care facilities

Mariño, Rodrigo, Tonmukayakul, Utsana, Manton, David, Stranieri, Andrew and Clarke, Ken 2016, Cost-analysis of teledentistry in residential aged care facilities, Journal of telemedicine and telecare, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 326-332, doi: 10.1177/1357633X15608991.

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Title Cost-analysis of teledentistry in residential aged care facilities
Author(s) Mariño, Rodrigo
Tonmukayakul, UtsanaORCID iD for Tonmukayakul, Utsana
Manton, David
Stranieri, Andrew
Clarke, Ken
Journal name Journal of telemedicine and telecare
Volume number 22
Issue number 6
Start page 326
End page 332
Total pages 7
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-09
ISSN 1758-1109
Keyword(s) Economic evaluation
older adults
oral health
Summary INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this research was to conduct a cost-analysis, from a public healthcare perspective, comparing the cost and benefits of face-to-face patient examination assessments conducted by a dentist at a residential aged care facility (RACF) situated in rural areas of the Australian state of Victoria, with two teledentistry approaches utilizing virtual oral examination.

METHODS: The costs associated with implementing and operating the teledentistry approach were identified and measured using 2014 prices in Australian dollars. Costs were measured as direct intervention costs and programme costs. A population of 100 RACF residents was used as a basis to estimate the cost of oral examination and treatment plan development for the traditional face-to-face model vs. two teledentistry models: an asynchronous review and treatment plan preparation; and real-time communication with a remotely located oral health professional.

RESULTS: It was estimated that if 100 residents received an asynchronous oral health assessment and treatment plan, the net cost from a healthcare perspective would be AU$32.35 (AU$27.19-AU$38.49) per resident. The total cost of the conventional face-to-face examinations by a dentist would be AU$36.59 ($30.67-AU$42.98) per resident using realistic assumptions. Meanwhile, the total cost of real-time remote oral examination would be AU$41.28 (AU$34.30-AU$48.87) per resident.

DISCUSSION: Teledental asynchronous patient assessments were the lowest cost service model. Access to oral health professionals is generally low in RACFs; however, the real-time consultation could potentially achieve better outcomes due to two-way communication between the nurse and a remote oral health professional via health promotion/disease prevention delivered in conjunction with the oral examination.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1357633X15608991
Field of Research 0903 Biomedical Engineering
1117 Public Health And Health Services
0806 Information Systems
Socio Economic Objective 920502 Health Related to Ageing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
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