Operations and Implementation
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.
- Analyze the challenges around using various telemedicine platforms as a hub site for burn care.
- Explain the value of a burn psychotherapist and their use of telemedicine to provider care to patients in a large geographic area.
- Compare various transmission methods of pictures in a store and forward application in a burn department, including submission of pictures directly from patients at home.