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A national survey of telemedicine use by US emergency departments.

A national survey of telemedicine use by US emergency departments.

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A national survey of telemedicine use by US emergency departments.

J Telemed Telecare. 2018 Dec 17;:1357633X18816112

Authors: Zachrison KS, Boggs KM, M Hayden E, Espinola JA, Camargo CA

OBJECTIVE: Telemedicine has the potential to improve the delivery of emergency medical care: however, the extent of its adoption in United States (US) emergency departments is not known. Our objective was to characterise the prevalence of telemedicine use among all US emergency departments, describe clinical applications for which it is most commonly used, and identify emergency department characteristics associated with its use.
METHODS: As part of the National Emergency Department Inventory-USA survey, we queried all 5375 US emergency departments open in 2016. Multivariable logistic regression analyses identified characteristics associated with emergency department receipt of telemedicine services.
RESULTS: Overall, 4507 emergency departments (84%) responded to our survey, with 4031 responding to both telemedicine questions (75%). Although 1694 emergency departments (42%) reported no telemedicine in 2016, most did: 1923 (48%) emergency departments received telemedicine services, 149 (4%) emergency departments received telemedicine services and were in hospitals that provided telemedicine, and 265 emergency departments (7%) did not receive telemedicine but were in hospitals that provided telemedicine services. Among emergency departments receiving telemedicine, the most common applications were stroke/neurology (76%), psychiatry (38%), and paediatrics (15%). In multivariable analysis, telemedicine-receiving emergency departments had higher annual total visit volume for adults and lower annual total visit volume by children; were less likely to be academic or freestanding; and varied by region. In multivariable analysis, emergency departments in telemedicine-providing hospitals had higher annual total visit volume for adults and children, were more likely to be academic and were less likely to be freestanding.
CONCLUSION: In 2016, telemedicine was used in most US emergency departments (58%), especially for stroke/neurology and psychiatry. Future research is needed to understand the value of telemedicine for different clinical applications, and the barriers to its implementation.

PMID: 30558518 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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