Teleconsultation VS Telereferral (Illustrated)

What is the difference between TELECONSULTATION and TELEREFERRAL?

Despite both terms being commonly used to describe telemedicine processes, the difference is quite crucial and distinct. Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. The purpose of sending the information basically differentiates teleconsultation and telereferral.

Teleconsultation is when the referring physician sends a patient’s data electronically in order to seek advice from a clinical specialist. Currently, the National Telehealth Service Program of NTHC implements this kind of telemedicine, supporting about 412 municipal health care centers with trained referring doctors.

On the other hand, telereferral is the sending of electronic patient data as a preparation for the transfer of the patient to another health facility. There are discussions at present on how this feature can be incorporated in Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS), an electronic medical record developed by NTHC.

The cartoon below illustrates the difference between the two telemedicine terms:

Teleconsultation VS Telereferral

For more information on NTSP, click HERE.