Measuring the service system impact of a novel telediagnostic service program for young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism. 2018 Aug 16;:1362361318787797

Authors: Stainbrook JA, Weitlauf AS, Juárez AP, Taylor JL, Hine J, Broderick N, Nicholson A, Warren Z

As prevalence of autism spectrum disorder continues to increase, so too does the need for timely, accessible diagnostic consultation. The present work extends from a previous study which provided preliminary evidence for the feasibility of expert clinicians to utilize telemedicine to triage autism spectrum disorder risk in young children. However, it did not examine whether a telediagnostic model had a demonstrable impact on tertiary care center referrals and usage. We therefore examined whether the introduction of telemedicine-based diagnostic consultation for families served by a rural medical facility affected referrals overall as well as to a metropolitan tertiary care diagnostic center. Results suggest that telemedicine diagnostic consultation in partnership with a referring early intervention system may positively impact referrals for diagnostic evaluation as well as the ability of families to schedule and attend appointments.

PMID: 30112912 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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