White Coats call room blog. Its a great source of interesting articles on ER medicine.
Today he references a new development in ER medicine called E-emergency services. These are emergency MD and nurse consultants available via internet to small hospitals. There is a camera in the patient room which can be controlled by the person at the other end of the internet to move around, zoom in on the patient. It allows the consultant to be a second set of eyes for assessment. They can make suggestions, answer questions. The heart monitor with all of the vital signs, cardiac rhythm can be viewed.
Xrays and CTs, ekgs can be reviewed. All the MD or nurse needs to do is press a button and they are instantly available.
The idea behind this is to provide better and similar care, to the extent possible,as a patient would get in a larger city. It can avoid unnecessary transfers and therefore, save money. By keeping patients in the local hospital, they can remain financially viable. It benefits the patient by being closer to family and follow up that they will actually use.
This is very interesting development, similar to the E-ICUs which do the same thing for ICUs. Now if we could only get a E-MD or E-NP service set up in which people could be seen "virtually" at their homes by computers for simple problems without having to come to the officer or the emergency department. Wouldn't that be great and cost saving? All of this is the future of medicine.