Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

David Jank, Elizabeth Krupinski


In the past 20 years, the use of telemedicine has increased, with telemedicine programs increasingly being conducted through the Internet and ISDN technologies. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the discourse community of telemedicine. This study examined the published literature on telemedicine as it pertains to quality of care, defined as correct diagnosis and treatment (Bynum and Irwin 2011). Content analysis and bibliometrics were conducted on the scholarly discourse, and the most prominent authors and journals were documented to paint and depict the epistemological map of the discourse community of telemedicine. A taxonomy based on grounded research of scholarly literature was developed and validated against other existing taxonomies. Telemedicine has been found to increase the quality and access of health care and decrease health care costs (Heinzelmann, Williams, Lugn and Kvedar 2005 and Wootton and Craig 1999). Patients in rural areas where there is no specialist or patients who find it difficult to get to a doctor’s office benefit from telemedicine. Little research thus far has examined scholarly journals in order to aggregate and analyze the prevalent issues in the discourse community of telemedicine. The purpose of this dissertation is to empiricallydocument the prominent topics and issues in telemedicine by examining the related published scholarly discourse of telemedicine during a snapshot in time. This study contributes to the field of telemedicine by offering a comprehensive taxonomy of the leading authors and journals in telemedicine, and informs clinicians, librarians and other stakeholders, including those who may want to implement telemedicine in their institution, about issues telemedicine.