Emergency department overcrowding and acuity are significant challenges to patients and staff. Low-acuity patients have extended wait times, and decreased satisfaction can have a negative effect on patient flow.
A multidisciplinary ED team developed and launched the first ED-based Telehealth Express Care Service, where patients who present to the emergency department with minor complaints are offered a “virtual visit” with a board-certified emergency physician located remotely.
More than 6 months into the program, more than 1,300 patients have been treated. These patients experienced decreased length of stay (2.5 hours to 38 minutes) and increased satisfaction. The program is very well received by staff members who appreciate its efficiency.
Telehealth has the potential to optimize ED efficiency, increase patient satisfaction, and promote safe, high-quality provision of care.
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Catherine McHugh is a Patient Safety Nurse in the Emergency Department of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY.
Rhonda Krinsky is Patient Care Director, Emergency Department, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY.
Rahul Sharma is Emergency Physician-in-Chief, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY.
Published online: April 06, 2018
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