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J Telemed Telecare. 2001;7 Suppl 1:58-9.

The development of a telemedicine system for a centralized maxillofacial unit serving four towns.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Royal Bolton Hospital, Blackburn Royal Infirmary, Bolton, UK.


Following the amalgamation on one site of inpatient oral and maxillofacial surgical (OMFS) services serving four towns, patients attending accident and emergency (A and E) departments in Bolton, Burnley and Bury who required specialist OMFS care were transferred to Blackburn. This sometimes led to inappropriate transfer, with inconvenience for patients, sub-standard care and wasted resources. To reduce these problems, a videoconferencing system was established, linking the A and E departments of three peripheral hospitals to the central site. This allowed realtime visualization of patients and their radiographs, discussion between clinicians and transfer of a summary data-sheet. The aim was to improve remote diagnosis and to deliver a cost-effective, high-quality specialist service. In the first 12 months, there were an average of 25 remote consultations per month, with favourable feedback from both patients and clinicians.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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