Telemedicine Saves Time, Money … and Lives
Partners/Channel, Public Sector, Healthcare, Collaborations, Video
When an urban crisis threatens a city, emergency responders are quick to react. The question is, what if they are not quick enough? The result could be slower time to patient treatment, an unprepared and chaotic hospital, and most importantly the loss of patient lives.
In today’s fast-moving culture, the need for near real-time communication is more important than ever. And in healthcare that need is magnified.
During a local incident of mass violence in Virginia, the University of Virginia (UVA) Telehealth team was able to use video collaboration to communicate between emergency responders with injured patients at the front line and physicians in the command center at the hospital.
“Telecommunications helped us to save up to 20 lives … because we were able to meet patient needs based upon instant ability to communicate with our services across the healthcare system,” said Richard P. Shannon, MD, Executive Vice President, Health Affairs, UVA. Dr. Shannon witnessed first-hand how technology was able to transform the way that UVA Telehealth prepared for, and reacted to, a day of crisis. A crisis that led to injuries and the need for instant medical attention. You can learn more by watching this video.
“From the front lines where our patients were injured to our command center, and then throughout our institution, we relied upon telecommunications to guide us in the triage of management …” Dr. Shannon said.
Whereas Telemedicine has typically been used for remote diagnosis and treatment of patients in rural areas, many of the healthcare challenges that Telemedicine can address are present in urban areas. Telemedicine is especially critical in urban areas when waiting is not an option.
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), the industry is in a period of rapid growth. About 200 telemedicine networks have 3,500 service sites in the United States. Almost 1.5 million Americans are using remote cardiac monitors, and more than half of all U.S. hospitals offer some form of telemedicine, and that number is only expected to grow. In 2017, 40% of physicians in a large survey reported that, “Telemedicine was an important evolution in the practice of Medicine”.
UVA is the top academic medical center in the state of Virginia and it attracts patients from all over the state. Telemedicine is making a significant difference in the way patients receive care at UVA. Telemedicine offers a viable alternative for better access to healthcare, at a lower cost, and has the ability to save lives in critical care and emergency situations, as evident by the UVA Telehealth crisis scenario mentioned earlier.
Telemedicine is making a difference in Texas, too. Read more about how the Houston Fire Department implemented a mobile video collaboration solution that allows patients and emergency responders to communicate instantly with physicians.