Representatives from CSI Health are always willing to spend as much time as necessary to help prospective clients understand the benefits of telemedicine screening. But sometimes, healthcare providers just starting the journey into telemedicine need more than a prepared presentation. They need hard, fast data. Thankfully, that data exists.
Telemedicine has been studied extensively over the years by researchers hoping to understand if it enhances or hurts our ability to provide quality healthcare. Two such studies, one involving emergency medicine and another looking at screening during the COVID pandemic, clearly show that telemedicine solutions can be beneficial.
We believe strongly in the concept of telemedicine screening. Anything a healthcare provider can do to increase the volume and quality of its screening processes only makes delivering healthcare services more efficient. And where there is greater efficiency lies the ability to also offer care to more people.
Telemedicine Screening in the ED
The first of the two previously mentioned studies were conducted by a team of researchers hailing from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan. Researchers set out to understand if telemedicine screening would be of any help to overcrowded emergency departments, thereby reducing the number of patients who walked away without receiving care.
The study took place in a single urban hospital over 22 weeks during the spring and summer of 2016. Data was compiled on both face-to-face and telemedicine screening, at 337 and 315 hours respectively. Researchers measured the number of patients screened per hour, the number who walked away without being treated, and the incidence of recommending analgesia, tests, and prescription medications.
It turns out that face-to-face screening was more efficient at the start of the pilot. But by the end of the study, once providers were comfortable with telemedicine screening, there was no discernible difference in efficiency. Overall, fewer patients were turned away without being seen as a result of the ED offering telemedicine screening.
Telemedicine Screening During the Pandemic
The second study was conducted during the spring of 2020 at Augustine University. This study was designed to test whether healthcare providers and their staff could correctly use telemedicine screening solutions to serve large numbers of patients during pandemic conditions.
Screening guidelines were developed jointly by the CDC in the Georgia Department of Public Health. More than 17,800 patient encounters were examined during the course of the study, with 13,600 included in the final analysis. Overall, providers demonstrated adherence to the guidelines during 71% of the adult and 57% of the pediatric screenings.
Furthermore, providers determined that 72% of the patients should receive positive screens when they did not follow the guidelines. When guidelines were followed, just 52% of the patients received a positive screen. The discrepancy demonstrates that adherence to established guidelines leads to more targeted results.
The general conclusions reached by the researchers suggest that telemedicine screening can be immensely helpful in ensuring patients in a pandemic setting are correctly evaluated and, when necessary, moved through the system to receive quality care. Researchers also concluded that the study provides proof of concept for telemedicine screening as a pandemic response tool.
Telemedicine for Your Practice
It is clear from many years of study that telemedicine is helpful technology. Whether it is telemedicine screening or remote medical kiosks with diagnostic capabilities, the technology to provide remote healthcare is both helpful and effective. It could be exactly what your practice needs to move forward. If you would like to know more, please contact us at your earliest convenience. We offer a range of telemedicine solutions to meet a variety of needs.