Increasing Access to Maternal and Pediatric Specialty Care via Telehealth in Peru

Recommendations and Frameworks
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1819-15
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This report presents the findings of a three-month investigation conducted by a global health research team from Dartmouth, a university in the United States. The team was asked by Hospital Nacional Docente Madre-Niño San Bartolomé to investigate how the hospital could increase access to its pediatric and maternal specialty care services through the use of telehealth. As a secondary focus, the team was asked to provide recommendations for improving coordination between Hospital San Bartolomé and the telehealth unit at the Ministry of Health (MINSA), and to evaluate how MINSA could address system-level barriers to accessing specialty care via telehealth. The team investigated these questions by conducting interviews and focus groups and distributing a survey at Hospital San Bartolomé and three consulting hospitals around the country. The team also consulted the leaders of successful telehealth programs at other national reference hospitals in Lima. Through their research, the team concluded that the lack of standardized capacity for sending and receiving tele-consults was a central barrier to the creation of a robust telehealth program at Hospital San Bartolomé and consulting facilities. With input from stakeholders in Peru and the Connected Care Telehealth Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the team designed an analytical structure to standardize telehealth development at Hospital San Bartolomé and consulting facilities. This analytical structure provides the basis for immediate and long-term programmatic steps which Hospital San Bartolomé can take to increase its use of telehealth. The team also created recommendations for sustainable investment by MINSA in telehealth capacity-building and identified policy gaps which are barriers to telehealth use in the national health system.