Clinicians' and patients' experiences and satisfaction with unscheduled, nighttime, Internet-based video conferencing for assessing acute medical problems in a nursing facility.
Videoconferencing between patients and their physicians can increase patients' access to healthcare. Unscheduled videoconferencing can benefit patients with acute medical problems but has not been studied extensively. We conducted a clinical trial of unscheduled, nighttime videoconferencing in a nursing home, where on-call physicians usually provide care by telephone from remote locations. Although most calls for medical problems did not lead to videoconferencing, physicians and nursing-home residents were satisfied with videoconferencing when it did occur, and physicians reported that making medical decisions was easier with videoconferencing. Videoconferencing was most often conducted to assess residents with changes in mental status, abnormal laboratory values, or falls. Physicians often lacked immediate access to videoconferencing equipment when medical problems with residents occurred. This application could benefit from improved access and portability of equipment. (+info)
Remote working: survey of attitudes to eHealth of doctors and nurses in rural general practices in the United Kingdom.
BACKGROUND: Health professionals in rural primary care could gain more from eHealth initiatives than their urban counterparts, yet little is known about eHealth in geographically isolated areas of the UK. OBJECTIVE: To elicit current use of, and attitudes towards eHealth of professionals in primary care in remote areas of Scotland. METHODS: In 2002, a questionnaire was sent to all general practitioners (n=154) in Scotland's 82 inducement practices, and to 67 nurses. Outcome measures included reported experience of computer use; access to, and experience of eHealth and quality of that experience; views of the potential usefulness of eHealth and perceived barriers to the uptake of eHealth. RESULTS: Response rate was 87%. Ninety-five percent of respondents had used either the Internet or email. The proportions of respondents who reported access to ISDN line, scanner, digital camera, and videoconferencing unit were 71%, 48%, 40% and 36%, respectively. Use of eHealth was lower among nurses than GPs. Aspects of experience that were rated positively were 'clinical usefulness', 'functioning of equipment' and 'ease of use of equipment' (76%, 74%, and 74%, respectively). The most important barriers were 'lack of suitable training' (55%), 'high cost of buying telemedicine equipment' (54%), and 'increase in GP/nurse workload' (43%). Professionals were concerned about the impact of tele-consulting on patient privacy and on the consultation itself. CONCLUSIONS: Although primary healthcare professionals recognize the general benefits of eHealth, uptake is low. By acknowledging barriers to the uptake of eHealth in geographically isolated settings, broader policies on its implementation in primary care may be informed. (+info)
The use of digital imaging, video conferencing, and telepathology in histopathology: a national survey.
AIMS: To undertake a large scale survey of histopathologists in the UK to determine the current infrastructure, training, and attitudes to digital pathology. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to 500 consultant histopathologists randomly selected from the membership of the Royal College of Pathologists in the UK. RESULTS: There was a response rate of 47%. Sixty four per cent of respondents had a digital camera mounted on their microscope, but only 12% had any sort of telepathology equipment. Thirty per cent used digital images in electronic presentations at meetings at least once a year and only 24% had ever used telepathology in a diagnostic situation. Fifty nine per cent had received no training in digital imaging. Fifty eight per cent felt that the medicolegal implications of duty of care were a barrier to its use. A large proportion of pathologists (69%) were interested in using video conferencing for remote attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings. CONCLUSIONS: There is a reasonable level of equipment and communications infrastructure among histopathologists in the UK but a very low level of training. There is resistance to the use of telepathology in the diagnostic context but enthusiasm for the use of video conferencing in multidisciplinary team meetings. (+info)
Teaching by videoconference: a commentary on best practice for rural education in health professions.
This article offers a primer on how to get started in videoconferencing, focusing on practical approaches to technical and protocol issues. The technical capabilities of videoconferencing systems, linked with initiatives supporting greater rural access to broadband, means videoconferencing is expanding rapidly as a health education tool. Forethought allows the purchase of the most appropriate equipment, reducing costs overall and increasing the functionality of the system. Adherence to simple matters, including etiquette, ensures the experience is enjoyable as well as educational. Consideration should be given to the role of videoconferencing in expanding the social as well as academic opportunities for rural clinicians and students. Videoconferencing is a useful adjunct to traditional educational delivery modes, and can enable quality education opportunities that would be prohibitive due to time, travel, and cost constraints. (+info)
REACH: clinical feasibility of a rural telestroke network.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Development of stroke networks is critical to bringing guideline-driven stroke care to rural, underserved areas. METHODS: A Web-based telestroke tool, REACH, was developed to provide a foundation for a rural stroke network that delivered acute stroke consults 24 hours per day 7 days per week to 8 rural community hospitals in Georgia. RESULTS: There were 194 acute stroke consults delivered. Thirty patients were treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS) was 15.4, and the median NIHSS was 12.5. The mean onset to treatment time (OTT) was 122 minutes. The OTT dropped from 143 minutes in the first 10 patients treated to 111 minutes in last 20 patients. Of the 30 patients treated with tPA, 23% (7) were treated in < or =90 minutes and 60% (18) were treated within 2 hours. There were no symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhages. CONCLUSIONS: The REACH telestroke system permits the rapid and safe use of tPA in rural community hospitals. Over time, the system became more efficient and OTT decreased. (+info)
Telehealth for wound management in long-term care.
Telehealth facilitates provision of healthcare services at distant sites using electronic communications. A pilot project utilizing telehealth was initiated in a long-term care community to assess the wounds of geriatric residents. Over a 1-year period, nine patients requiring a total of 21 visits were evaluated by an offsite University of Virginia Health System wound nurse practitioner via telecommunication. Traditionally, frail elders are seen in the local wound care clinic, necessitating often costly and physically strenuous transport. The technology in this program incorporated use of a videoconferencing device, television monitor, and a patient camera. Average round trip cost savings for transporting immobile residents was $650; hence, substantial cost containment was achieved. In addition, quality of care improved because residents were not required to leave their facility for the 3 to 4 hours required to travel to and from the clinic. Although no formal satisfaction surveys were administered, resident and family response to the service was favorable. With continued documentation of patient satisfaction and cost savings, this service eventually may be available to other long-term care facilities in the area. (+info)
A real time Teleconsultation System for Sharing an Oncologic Web-based Electronic Medical Record.
This poster presents an innovative real-time Teleconsultation System for synchronized navigation of the pages of a web-based Oncological Electronic Medical Record, designed to provide clinicians a cooperative work tool supporting the oncologic patient management between different hospitals. The system embeds additional tools supporting the discussion: digital whiteboard, chat and a digital audio channel. (+info)
Overcoming diverse security protocols across institutions to enable convenient file-sharing and videoconferencing among collaborators.
The use of videoconferencing and file sharing tools among colleagues at large institutions has traditionally been confounded by differing security policies in place at each location. Building an electronic collaboration infrastructure based upon the lowest-common-denominator security configuration expected to be encountered will yield an accessible collaboration environment previously unavailable to geographically diverse researchers and clinicians. (+info)