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J Telemed Telecare. 2017 May;23(4):484-488. doi: 10.1177/1357633X16648535. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

EDTITRATE (Emergency Department Telemedicine Initiative to Rapidly Accommodate in Times of Emergency).

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UCSD Health System, Department of Emergency Medicine, San Diego, California, USA.


Objective Emergency Department (ED) patient volumes are unpredictable, which can result in service delays and patients leaving without care. We initiated a programme of emergency physician (EP) telepresence in the ED with the objectives of assessing feasibility, safety, patient and provider acceptance, and throughput time. Methods This was a prospective convenience study. Patients presenting to the ED during operation of the study who were planned for placement in the waiting room were considered for enrolment. A faculty EP conducted patient evaluations via telepresence with confirmatory evaluation by the onsite faculty EP prior to disposition. Patient care was either taken to completion by the telemedicine EP or initiated and handed off to the onsite team. Measures included patient demographics, triage class (ESI 1-5), throughput time and a single question satisfaction survey (rating 1-5, 5 most favourable) completed by patients, registered nurses and EPs. Patients were called within 3 days and the electronic health record reviewed at 7 days looking for unscheduled visits and adverse events. Results In total, 130 patients were enrolled. Mean triage class was 3.9 with a median throughput of 150 minutes (IQR = 116.5, 206). Non-telemedicine patients during the same time period with similar triage classes had a median throughput of 287 minutes (IQR = 199, 408). Mean satisfaction scores were: patient 4.91, nurse 4.75, onsite EP 4.47 and telemedicine EP 4.79. There was one potential misdiagnosis and no adverse events. Conclusion Patient evaluation by EP via telepresence is feasible, safe, readily accepted by patients and providers and associated with reduced throughput time.


Telemedicine; emergency medicine; flow; innovation; length of stay; operations; throughput

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