UC San Diego Health to Use Telemedicine to Reduce ED Wait Times

UC San Diego Health System announced a new pilot program to use telemedicine to reduce emergency department crowding and decrease wait times.

The health system will begin the pilot, called Emergency Department Telemedicine Initiative to Rapidly Accommodate in Times of Emergency, in six rooms in its Hillcrest ED in San Diego. When the ED becomes busy, the health system will contact an offsite physician, who will then link to a telemedicine station and evaluate patients based on arrival time and patient acuity using telemedicine's sound and video capabilities.


The physician can order tests, review results and document treatment in an electronic medical record. An onsite attending physician will then reassess the patient to confirm the offsite physician's decisions and answer any questions from the patient.


The project is supported by a $50,000 grant from the University of California Health Quality Improvement.


More Articles on ED Utilization:

44 Statistics on ED Wait Times
The Emergency Department: The Nexus of Healthcare
CDC: Percentage of Annual ED Visits Stable 2001-2011

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