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Urology. 1998 Jan;51(1):39-43.

A telemedicine consultative service for the evaluation of patients with urolithiasis.

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Department of Radiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.



A 6-month pilot teleconsultative project linking Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington, DC, and City Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, 90 miles away, was designed to assess the effectiveness of telemedicine on the clinical decision-making process for patients with urolithiasis.


The telemedicine system designed and tested for this project was based on a PC-based platform. Videoconferencing and review of the patient's imaging studies were performed over an Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) with 3 Basic Rate (BRI) ISDN lines providing a 336-kilobytes/s bandwidth through an Inverse Multiplexor (IMUX). Treatment options were recorded for the clinical trial group and a simulated study group by the consulting urologist after the initial telephone consultation, after the telemedicine consultation, and after examination of those patients transferred to GUMC.


A total of 32 telemedicine consultations were performed: 14 in the clinical trial group and 18 in the simulated study group. The recommendation of the consulting urologist at the tertiary center was altered in 12 patients (37.5%) after the telemedicine consultation compared with the recommended treatment after the initial telephone consultation.


In the evaluation of patients with urolithiasis, this telemedicine application enhanced the clinical decision-making process by allowing for improved quality of care through immediate access and effective transfer of information between the referring urologist, the patient, and the stone center specialist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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