Timeliness and Access to Healthcare Services via Telemedicine for Adolescents in State Correctional Facilities

Karen C. Fox, Grant W. Somes, Teresa M. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a telemedicine program in improving timeliness of and access to healthcare services in adolescent correctional facilities. Method: This study is a pre/post quasi-experimental design comparing time to treatment and healthcare use in the year preceding and the 2 years after the implementation of a telemedicine program in four facilities housing adolescents from 12 to19. Timeliness of care is measured by time from referral to date of service (for behavioral healthcare only). Access to care is measured by use of outpatient care, emergency department (ED) visits, and inpatient visits. Results: Two of the four state correctional facilities had a significant decrease (24%) in time from referral to treatment after the implementation of the telemedicine intervention. The facilities not showing significant improvements in timeliness experienced difficulty implementing the telemedicine program. The telemedicine program was also associated with significant improvements in access to care. Outpatient visits increased by 40% in the 2 years after implementation of telemedicine. For each 1% increase in telemedicine usage, outpatient visits increased by 1%, whereas emergency room visits decreased by 7%. Conclusions: Telemedicine can have a positive impact on timeliness of and access to care for youth in correctional facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Access to care
  • Adolescent correctional facilities
  • Healthcare use
  • Telemedicine
  • Timeliness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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