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Review: telephone and computer communication improves healthcare process and patient outcomes

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To determine the efficacy of distance healthcare technologies for clinical process and patient outcomes.

Data sources

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified from 1966–96 in the Columbia Registry of Information and Utilization Management Trials and other databases (Medline, HSTAR, PsychLIT, CINAHL, Science Citation Index, and Engineering Index) using the search terms telephone and computer.

Study selection

Studies were included if they evaluated electronic communication (computer or telephone) between people in separate …

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  • Sources of funding: National Library of Medicine; National Science Foundation; Arizona State University.

  • For article reprint: Dr E A Balas, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, 324 Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. Fax +1 573 882 6158.

  • Adapted from an abstract published in ACP Journal Club 1998 Jan-Feb;128:22.