Critically sick patients in the emergency department (ED) may have to wait hours or days to be transferred to the intensive care unit because of overcrowding and insufficient critical care services (ICU). Delay in the ICU transfer is linked to negative outcomes in these patients, who are frequently referred to as “ICU boarders.” For ICU boarders, we set up an ED-based electronic ICU (eICU) monitoring system. Our goal was to find out how this campaign affected morbidity, mortality, and ICU use.
The delivery of modern healthcare has drastically altered through telemedicine. Healthcare providers can provide medical care to patients everywhere, regardless of distance, thanks to the utilisation of cutting-edge teleconferencing, telecommunications technology, and remote patient monitoring.
Given that the majority of geographically isolated people have extremely restricted access to healthcare, removing the barriers of distance between physicians and patients is essential.
Patients frequently travel for hours to get the necessary medical care because these communities lack doctors and specialists. This drives up their costs even more and drives up their already expensive medical bills. Patients frequently wait until their conditions are critical before going to the doctor.
This makes sense given that patients in remote areas have to:
- Take time off of the job.
- Plan your transportation.
- Stay the night in a different city.
We can’t just take this as fact, which is why telemedicine has gained support from patients and healthcare providers as an effective substitute for in-person consultations.
Improved access to healthcare and easier treatment of patients with chronic diseases are all benefits of telemedicine, which provides a way to deliver much-needed medical care to people in remote locations. In addition, telemedicine lowers unneeded hospital admissions and can considerably lower the cost of treating some ailments, including:
- pulmonary obstructive disease
- Slumber apnea
How Telemedicine is Changing the Delivery of Healthcare
Telemedicine may support in-person medical care in a variety of ways and streamline the delivery of healthcare.
Here are a few typical real-world uses for telemedicine:
- Enhancing rural healthcare.
- Expedites the diagnosis and treatment of strokes.
- Enables tele-ICU and home rehabilitation.
- Lowers the risk of developing heart disease.
- Encourages diabetic patients to adopt healthier habits.
- Makes mental health visits easier.
- Enhanced Rural Healthcare.
As we’ve already mentioned, telemedicine significantly increases remote patients’ access to medical care. The way that patients in rural America get medical care is significantly impacting by the adoption of telemedicine. Given that people have access to care, the absence of medical facilities, doctors, and experts in these locations is no longer a major obstacle.
Patients are no longer need to travel for six hours, wait in line for the same amount of time at the hospital, or wait days or even weeks for a doctor to visit them in a rural region. Telemedicine offers rural residents a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to connect with doctors, receive diagnoses, and receive treatment.
For minor medical issues and follow-ups on pre-existing diseases, remote doctor consultations are also incredibly helpful. Patients now have a simpler, more practical approach to monitor their health, and telemedicine visits relieve burden on rural hospitals.
Stroke diagnosis and treatment
Telemedicine delivers medical care rapidly, one of its main advantages. The rapidity of treatment is crucial and can mean the difference between life and death for some illnesses, such as stroke sufferers. The earlier a stroke victim receives tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the better. The typical time range is within three hours, although experience demonstrates that receiving therapy within 90 minutes considerably reduces the risk of tragic consequences and lasting brain damage.
Because they are frequently several hours away from the closest medical centre, tele stroke treatments are essential for patients in rural and remote places. Patients or their family members can speak with a neurologist in only a few minutes thanks to advancements in telecommunications technology. The neurologist can do a distance examination and, if necessary, direct the administration of TPA or a transfer to a facility with expert medical care. The patient’s family won’t have to worry about transportation during these tense times because they can be transferred by either an ambulance or a helicopter, depending on where they are located geographically. Makes Home Rehabilitation Possible, when a patient is released from the ER or the ICU, treatment frequently continues. Tens of thousands of patients healing from diseases such as:
- Injured spinal cord
- Various neurological disorders
- Lupus multiplex
Regardless of whether they live in an urban or rural area, these factors typically make it fairly difficult for patients to frequently go to a medical institution for follow-up appointments. Patients can receive therapy through telemedicine from the comfort of their homes. Telemedicine allows doctors to remotely monitor a patient’s condition, conduct cognitive and mental evaluations, analyze recovery progress and adjust therapy as needed.
These patients can also thanks to telemedicine by:
- Attend group counselling sessions.
- Learn about their illness online.
- Get instant medical advice for their issue.
Any symptoms or alterations that should raise suspicions should be reported.
In any case, the ability for patients to connect to a doctor or specialist virtually immediately via their phone, computer, or laptop significantly helps with their recovery.
The critical care unit’s doctors and nurses can benefit greatly from tele-ICU. Utilizing contemporary technology gives them a simpler way to keep an eye on patient circumstances so they can respond quickly to crucial health signals, such a sudden shift in blood pressure. Keeping track of medicine dosages enables them to make sure that each patient receives the appropriate ICU doctors and nurses frequently have to treat several patients at once while attending to medical emergencies and a variety of other distractions. They can access doctors’ notes and test data more easily, and they can get a quick summary of the patients’ vital signs thanks to tele-ICU.
In this situation, telemedicine enables distant doctors to closely watch the development of patients in the ICU in order to promptly modify the course of treatment and recommend other medication alternatives as needed. Additionally, this lessens the strain on the ICU’s doctors and nurses.
Decreases the likelihood of Heart Disease
One of the leading causes of death worldwide is heart disease.
The main risk factors include:
- Excessive blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
Smoking prevention frequently involves making a variety of lifestyle adjustments, such as bettering one’s dietary habits, getting more exercise, and giving up smoking. Regular doctor visits are strongly advised for people who are at a higher risk of having a heart attack.
A lot of patients find it difficult to make the time to visit for a checkup, which is the problem. They must take time off from work, make long commutes, and wait for hours in waiting rooms. The majority of them decide that they “feel fine” and wait to see a doctor until their illness has dramatically gotten worse.
In terms of preventing heart disease, telemedicine has shown to be a priceless tool. Given that starting a video chat with a healthcare professional may be done in only a few minutes via telemedicine, patients are far more likely to enroll in cardiovascular disease management programmes.
When it comes to heart disease prevention, online consultations and medical information sharing have shown to be superior to in-person consultations. It’s a quicker, simpler, and more practical way for patients to monitor and manage their general health.