Telemedicine improves pediatric care in rural emergency departments

By Ben Amirault
AUGUST 20, 2013 – Quality of care is highest when rural emergency departments use telemedicine consultations on pediatric cases, according to new research published in Critical Care signTelemedicine is particularly helpful for rural emergency departments who only see a handful of pediatric cases each year. According to a recent Reuters article, guidelines on how to care for children in the emergency department is also lacking.

James Marcin, MD, the senior author of the Critical Care Medicine study, told Reuters Health, “For a three-month-old that comes in for wheezing or for a six-month-old that comes in for a fever, there are very few evidence-based guidelines.”

In an effort to study the benefits of telemedicine, Marcin and his colleagues installed telemedicine systems in five rural emergency departments which were linked to the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit. The rural EDs used the system to consult with the UC Davis critical care doctor who was on duty.



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