Asghar Ehteshami, Sakineh Saghaeiannejad-Isfahani, Mahnaz Samadbeik, Khdijeh Falah
Introduction: The use of telemedicine technology can lead to an equitable distribution of specialized care. There are numerous influencing factors which should be identified for successful implementation and efficacy of telemedicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate current situation and internal and external environment of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) and prepare telemedicine development strategies for IUMS. Methods: This study was an applied cross-sectional mixed method study which was conducted between July 2014 to November 2016 and in five phases in IUMS. a) Evaluating Internal and external factors (IFE & EFE); b) Formulating goals; c) Identifying and prioritizing strategic problems; d) Setting objectives; and e) formulating the strategies to develop telemedicine in IUMS. The research sample included 147 of IUMS inner customers and stakeholders in the first phase (census) and 14 in the second phase (Purposive sampling based on more work experience). In the first phase, to analyze obtained data of two researcher-made questionnaires, measures of central tendency and dispersion (frequency, percent and mean) were calculated using SPSS. To evaluate internal and external factors and formulating strategies was used TOWS matrix. And finally, to select optimal strategies for telemedicine developing quantitative strategic planning matrix was used. Results: The final score of internal and external factors evaluation was 2.67 and 2.68, respectively. According to the strategic position and action evaluation (SPACE), telemedicine strategic planning in IUMS was in aggressive posture. Because the numbers were closer to 2.5 can be concluded that based on internal factors the organization was in moderate to strong and based on external factors was in a moderate level and neither have a serious positive feature for use the opportunities outside the organization and suffered a serious threat from the outside of organization. Finally, we formulated 14 strategies to develop telemedicine in IUMS as followings: 5 SO, 2 ST, 5 WO, and 2 WT strategies. Conclusion: Telemedicine development in IUMS is located in poor aggressive posture. Therefore, IUMS can develop telemedicine and subsequently, in this study, strategies were developed to preserve and retain healthcare workers, practical studies, data confidentiality and security programs, and other issues.
Keywords: Strategy, Strategy formulation, Telemedicine, strategic planning.