Teleneurology Comprehensive Inpatient Consultations Expedite Access to Care and Decreases Hospital Length of Stay
Neurohospitalist. 2021 Jul;11(3):229-234. doi: 10.1177/19418744211000951. Epub 2021 Mar 11.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: While the successful provision of telestroke care has been well documented in the literature, studies on the impact of comprehensive teleneurology service (TN) to hospital measures are lacking. We evaluated 3 traditional health services metrics of hospital performance: time from consult request to consult completion, inpatient length of stay (LOS), and the rate of patients transferred for tertiary care.
METHODS: Medical records (n = 899) from 3 community hospitals and our TN consultation database were retrospectively reviewed during the 2 years before (n = 703, 3 hospitals) and 4 months (n = 2 hospitals) to 2 years (n = 1 hospital) after implementation (n = 196) of a TN program for routine and urgent consult requests. Consult order time, consult completion time, total length of stay and discharge disposition were compared across the pre-TN implementation group, which consisted of in-person consultations and the post-TN implementation group, which consisted of TN consultations only.
RESULTS: After TN implementation, median length of stay decreased 28% (3.9 vs. 2.8 days, p < 0.0001) and median time from consult order to consult completion decreased by 74% across all diagnoses (5.8 vs. 1.5 hours, p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in the percentage of patients discharged home (52.3% vs. 56.1%, p = 0.10) or transferred to tertiary care (6.1% to 9.2%, p = 0.10).
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of TN program was associated with significant reductions in LOS and time to consultation completion without an increase in shunting of patients to more advanced facilities. Further research is warranted to confirm these findings in independent cohorts and other models of teleneurology delivery.
PMID:34163548 | PMC:PMC8182406 | DOI:10.1177/19418744211000951
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