Telemedicine Use In The Emergency Room

1138 words - 5 pages

Telemedicine is now prevalent in most hospital emergency rooms, therefore the hospital wants to ensure proper training and use of the telemedicine equipment. The hospital has noted nominal use of the telemedicine equipment even though there has been a rise in neurology admissions through the emergency room. The hospital understands that simply providing telemedicine equipment in the emergency room does not necessarily guarantee proper use. There are concerns that the equipment may not be used due to emergency room personnel feeling uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the telemedicine equipment. The objective of this policy is to address the continuing education and training on the telemedicine equipment by emergency room personnel for patient consults and staff education. “It is imperative that we continue to train and educate our emergency room personnel on the telemedicine equipment, as the comfort level with the equipment increases, so does the usage” (Hess, 2010). In addition, this policy will identify the roles of emergency room personnel as it relates to the telemedicine equipment. The emergency room personnel should be able to demonstrate a basic skillset in order to reduce anxiety over use of new equipment and to assist in the workflow of neurology patients. The hospital will ensure that all emergency room personnel that have a responsibility to use the telemedicine equipment get continuing education at set intervals and on an as needed basis in order to utilize the equipment in a safe and effective manner. The hospital’s telemedicine equipment is designed to connect emergency room personnel with an on call neurologist for a patient consult so the neurologist may examine, diagnose and recommend treatment for patients that exhibit neurological symptoms. Lack of knowledge by emergency room personnel can result in a delay in treatment for patients suspected of a neurologic compromise, a missed opportunity for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) treatment and possibly death.
I have been in the telemedicine field for ten years and I am encouraged and amazed by the demonstrated ability of the effective use of telemedicine consults on patient outcomes as well as the return on investment for the hospital. Telemedicine is definitely a value added benefit to the healthcare delivery system. A successful telemedicine application should produce high quality care at low cost in comparison with an alternative. (Zanaboni,P., & Wootton, R. 2012). Telemedicine is the use of bidirectional audio/video equipment to provide synchronous or asynchronous communication. Employing the use of the telemedicine equipment for a patient consultation is based on the right patient at the right time and it has the ability to drastically change a patient’s outcome. It is with this understanding that the choice to consult with a neurologist by way of the telemedicine equipment is the decision of the emergency room physician. It is the emergency room physician’s...

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