Telehealth reduced child transfers at rural, community hospitals

Sacramento, Calif.-based UC Davis Health researchers found telemedicine consultations among physicians reduced interfacility transfers from rural and community hospitals.

The study, published Feb. 13 in JAMA Network Open, included 696 acutely ill children at 15 community and rural emergency departments. The study compared telemedicine to telephone consultations. 

Telemedicine consultations between physicians at rural community hospitals reduced child transfers by 7 percent.

"We found that by using a relatively low-cost telemedicine intervention, children can be successfully evaluated, treated and either discharged or admitted locally from their rural and community hospitals," lead author James Marcin, MD, vice chair for pediatric clinical research and director of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, said in a Feb. 13 news release. 

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