Recently, we explored the financial benefits of implementing a tele-ICU program. If that weren’t reason enough to add the technology to your arsenal, Mayo Clinic researchers have now shown that telemedicine can monitor comatose patients just as well as a bedside doctor.
Prompted by a shortage of intensive care unit physicians and facilities with 24-hour patient coverage, the study examines whether telemedicine can help relieve this shortage and enhance early evaluation of patients. Over a period of 15 months, 100 comatose patients were assessed using either the Full Outline of UnResponsiveness (FOUR) score scale, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), or both. The total scores of bedside and remote assessors were compared.
The researchers found only insignificant differences between the bedside and remote GCS and FOUR scores, showing that the level of consciousness can be assessed reliably using telemedicine. Thus, the ICU physician shortage may be alleviated by using tele-ICU to allow specialists to evaluate patients at remote sites as well as in their own facilities. This will also aid in triaging patients and determining a care management plan more quickly at remote sites.
To read more about the study, visit Telemedicine and e-Health.
To learn about swyMed and how it can be used for tele-ICU, contact us online at swyMed.com.