The Telemedicine Community Readiness Model (TCRM) helps actors in communities to determine the current requirements for a successful telemedicine implementation. Communities can be connected locally (e.g. regions or health networks) or through a common interest (e.g. a common disease).
Telemedicine is defined by three characteristics. It describes i) the provision of health care services for patients by health care providers ii) over a distance iii) through the use of information and communication technology. Only if all three characteristics are fulfilled this constitutes telemedicine.
Using three dimensions, the status quo can be determined on six levels (see illustration). To assess the status quo, the status of existing telemedicine initiatives is relevant as well as how many members of the community are involved and what evidence has already been generated.
Depending on the status quo of the community, improvement measures are suggested, which can help to increase the use of telemedicine initiatives in the long term. This should enable to realise the full benefits of telemedicine initiatives.