Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Telemedicine could eradicate many expensive ED visits

07.05.2008
More than 25 percent of pediatric 'emergency' visits could be conducted online

A community-wide study in upstate New York found that nearly 28 percent of all visits to the pediatric emergency department could have been replaced with a more cost-effective Internet doctor’s “visit,” or telemedicine, according to investigators from the University of Rochester Medical Center. The Rochester team will present these findings and more at this year's Pediatric Academic Society Meeting, to be held Friday, May 2 through Tuesday, May 6, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“We learned that more than one in four local patients are using the pediatric emergency department for non-emergencies,” said Kenneth McConnochie, M.D., M.P.H., the study’s lead investigator and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester’s Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. “This mismatch of needs and resources is inefficient, costly and impersonal for everyone involved.”

McConnochie and colleagues – who direct Health-e-Access, a Rochester-based telemedicine program that provides interactive, Internet-based health care “visits” to diagnose and treat routine childhood symptoms in 19 urban and suburban schools and childcare centers – analyzed data from 2006, tracking all pediatric (younger than 19) visits to the largest emergency department in the city.

Given experience with over 6,000 successfully-managed telemedicine visits that illustrate the extent of technology’s capabilities, unique diagnoses from more than 22,000 pediatric ED visits were coded into various categories – first, ailments that virtually always prove manageable by telemedicine, such as ear infections or sore throats; second problems that are usually treatable through telemedicine, but not always, such as asthma attacks; and finally, conditions that were usually beyond the scope of the technology.

Nearly 28 percent of ED visits fell into that first category; had these same problems been handled by telemedicine, this community would have had at least 12,000 fewer ED visits that year.

“This would’ve not only freed up emergency resources to people who needed them more – it would have afforded smaller co-pays for parents and more timely, personalized care,” McConnochie said. (On average, 87 percent of these telemedicine visits are handled by the child’s own family pediatrician.)

But parents aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit. McConnochie, in related research also being presented at the upcoming meeting, suggests that telemedicine will also serve the ultimate objectives of insurers and the community as well – better quality care at a lower price. Typically, insurers have been wary of embracing the technology, fearing the convenience may lead parents to use medical care more often and drive up costs; but another community study from Rochester suggests the exact opposite – that in the long run, insurers actually would realize cost savings – more than $14 per child per year in that local community.

In that study, researchers analyzed two groups of children that were almost identical – except one had access to their doctor’s office, the emergency department, and telemedicine technology for care, and the second had only the first two options. They tracked how often families used services, and which ones.

“We found that the first group of families, which had access to telemedicine for their children, did in fact access care for illness overall nearly 23 percent more often than the second group,” McConnochie said.

But since emergency department visits among these children with telemedicine access were nearly 24 percent less common – and since these visits cost about 7-times the cost of a doctor office or telemedicine visit – the telemedicine group ultimately still cost the insurers less per child over the course of a year.

“It’s similar to the idea of staying trim by eating healthy. It would be wrong to assume that someone who ate 20 items of food each day – all lean and nutritious – would be less healthy than someone who ate only 12 items – all high-fat, high-calorie, like donuts and fries,” he said. “You can see how the logic of only counting food items (or total visits) falls apart. Clearly cost, as well as frequency, plays a role, whether the ‘cost’ of each unit is measured in calories or dollars.”

Becky Jones | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>