A grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will fund an investigation that will look at how telemedicine consultations in emergency departments impact clinical outcomes, including cost effectiveness.
The $1,198,384 grant was awarded to the Sacramento-based UC Davis pediatrician James Marcin, who will look at telemedicine consultations compared with telephone consultations. The study will assess the effectiveness of telemedicine versus telephone consultations on quality of care provided; frequency and appropriateness of admission and transfers from rural hospitals; frequency of physician-related medication errors; and costs of care.
The three-year study will ask participating emergency departments to obtain consultations using either telemedicine or the telephone during a six-month period of time. According to a UC Davis news release, Marcin hopes that this study will provide a solid cost-benefit analysis of the use of telemedicine versus telephone consultations in emergency-room settings.
“While telemedicine has been increasingly used as a means of providing emergency and critical care consultations to seriously ill and injured children in emergency departments, little is known about the impact that these consultations have on clinical and financial outcomes,” Marcin, the study’s principle investigator and interim chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at UC Davis Children's Hospital, said in a statement.
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