Operations and Implementation

ePoster Presentations

EP-136 - Regions Hospital Burn Telemedicine

Sunday, April 29
4:05 PM - 4:20 PM
Location: Education Zone, Booth 2416, Screen 4

Regions Burn Center covers a large geographic area to include North and South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Video telemedicine used for acute care burn consultations, as well as follow up visits, has enabled the burn team to expand their reach to places that are over 50 miles from St. Paul Minnesota. This has resulted in great partnerships with multiple rural critical access hospitals and healthcare systems who cannot afford a trauma/burn surgeon on staff. There are several major benefits the Regions Burn Center has experienced after implementing video telemedicine. Ensuring patients are managed at the most appropriate facility, in some cases involving the patient's local community, is one example. Video telemedicine for follow up care helps save patients and their families costly travel expenses and time away from work and family. For example, back in January a patient from a rural South Dakota hospital and was transferred to Regions Burn Center. They received care for a 15% burn from a gas fire. The patient did not stay long, but did require follow up services to oversee recovery. The Originating Site is 430 miles away from St. Paul MN, or 6.5 hours. To ask a patient to drive most of the day for a 20 minute follow up appointment is inefficient and potentially dangerous to the patient. An added benefit of video telemedicine has been reducing Regions Burn Center's loss to follow up cases, a key metric utilized by the American Burn Association for verification.


The burn telemedicine team is always looking to improve the way they provide care. Two areas of focus have expanded utilization of telemedicine; use of the full time burn psychotherapist and asynchronous store and forward telemedicine services.

Psychotherapy is offered full time at Regions Burn Center as of 2015 by an LCSW. In 2017 to make accessing care easier the psychotherapist started offering telemedicine follow up appointments to patients. This not only made it easier and more convenient for patients to receive care, it also helped the Regions Burn Center track PHQ9 scores, a key metric used in predicting post-traumatic stress.

While video telemedicine follow ups have been shown to be an efficient method to reduce the number of loss to follow up cases, additional processes may improve upon this rate such as transmission of burn pictures through an asynchronous store and forward system. In particular, allowing patients to transmit burn pictures directly from home in a safe and secure method was a key motivator for Regions Burn Center to develop a store and forward service. Multiple transmission methods were considered and many found to be useful.

Future uses of telemedicine currently under exploration are complementing in-person remote clinic visits, school reentry program assessments and virtual vocational rehabilitation services.

Learning Objectives:

LeeAnn Heim

Telemedicine Program Manager
Regions Hospital

LeeAnn Heim is currently the Telehealth Program Manager at Regions Hospital, a HealthPartners facility located in St. Paul Minnesota, and oversees various kinds of telemedicine programming. Her passion is giving patients and providers choices when it comes to providing and receiving healthcare and her interests are state telehealth policies and how telehealth technology can help reduce barriers to accessing care.
In 2007 LeeAnn received her BA from the University of Minnesota in Psychology. She moved to Tallahassee FL in 2008 and worked for a mental health service provider for three years in both clinical and administrative roles supporting clients in rural communities south of the city, in and around the bay area. In 2011 she moved back to Minneapolis and found a position managing Clinical Video Telehealth at the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System. In 2012 LeeAnn was offered the Facility Telehealth Coordinator role, which expanded her oversight to include Home Telehealth and Store and Forward Telehealth. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in the Masters in Healthcare Administration, Executive Track program in January 2017. LeeAnn has been with HealthPartners since September of 2016.

Presentation(s):

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Heidi Altamirano

Trauma and Burn Director
Regions Hospital

Heidi Altamirano has worked with the burn and trauma programs at Regions Hospital for over 22 years. She helped initiate the telemedicine program at Regions and has been involved as it has grown. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Nursing from the University of Minnesota and worked as a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist in 1996. She is interested in the holistic and multidisciplinary approach to care and embraces the use of telemedicine as an adjunct to this.

Presentation(s):

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