Following a comprehensive study of 1,000 pediatric telemedicine consultations available throughout Latin America, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh discovered physicians there were highly satisfied with the services and believed they had improved patient outcomes.
The study, covered in Healthcare IT News, showcased Children’s multi-center experience in telemedicine at three hospitals in Colombia and one in Mexico from July 2011 to June 2013.
Children’s physicians provided 1,040 consultations for 476 patients, with a real-time intervention taking place in 23% of those encounters. In 6% of the tele-consultations, a different diagnosis was suggested based on the interpretation of cardiac or imaging studies.
Relevant patient data was provided in a secure database and telemedicine hardware was used for real-time consultations.
We’re told that a CICU physician from Children’s participated in all encounters.
Based on anonymous surveys of physicians participating at the international centers, 96% of respondents reported being satisfied or highly satisfied with the telemedicine service, while 58% rated the promptness and time dedicated by the tele-intensivists as very high. Physicians reported that they sometimes changed their clinical practice in relation to the telemedicine encounters, with changes in surgical management noted most frequently.
“Now we know that the physicians we assist internationally consider this technology to be useful for patient outcomes and education. We will continue to expand access to the world’s best healthcare for children around the world,” said lead investigator Ricardo A. Muñoz, M.D.
The study is available for review here.