The Effect of Telemedicine on Resource Utilization and Hospital Disposition in Critically Ill Pediatric Transport Patients.
PURPOSE: Pediatric transport teams rely on communication to report patient data to medical command officers, who create care plans and determine disposition. Common destinations are the emergency department (ED), pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), or regular inpatient care area (RIPCA). Telephone report does not result in complete understanding of the patient's condition. Further workup in the ED is often required. Telemedicine allows the patient to be directly seen; parents to be interviewed; and laboratory studies, radiographs, and vital signs to be reviewed. We hypothesized that telemedicine would improve understanding of the patient and result in more accurate disposition.
DESIGN: Patients within our hospital from 2012 to 2013 were compared with patients transported using our telemedicine program from April 2014 to April 2015.
RESULTS: From 2012 to 2013, a total of 4,662 transports were performed. Of these, 4,067 were inbound transports, 2,302 of these patients were sent to ED (56.6%), 1,062 were sent to RIPCA (26%), and 431 were sent to PICU (10.6%). Over a year-long period of telemedicine implementation, 212 patients used telemedicine and were analyzed. ED utilization decreased to 27% (p < 0.0001), PICU increased to 34.4% (p < 0.0001), and RIPCA rates remained the same at 28% (p = 0.203). Of ED dispositions, 58.6% were admitted to RIPCA for further care, 13.7% to PICU for escalation of care, and 24.1% were discharged. Of RIPCA dispositions, 10% had rapid responses; 0 had code blues. Of PICU dispositions, 90.4% had care escalation; 9.6% were observed in the PICU without escalation.
CONCLUSION: Telemedicine use in transported pediatric patients can positively alter disposition patterns.
Published In/Presented At
Fugok, K., & Slamon, N. B. (2018). The Effect of Telemedicine on Resource Utilization and Hospital Disposition in Critically Ill Pediatric Transport Patients. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association, 24(5), 367–374. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2017.0095
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Emergency Medicine