Pediatric Trauma Society

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Pediatric Trauma Telemedicine Interest in a Western State
Micah G. Katz, MD; Stephen J. Fenton, MD; Mark Taylor, MD; Katie W. Russell, MD
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Background: Utah is a large western state with 3.1 million inhabitants and only 1 verified pediatric trauma center. We have previously shown a high rate of preventable transfers in the pediatric trauma population. In order to address this issue, we sought to evaluate the interest in pediatric trauma telemedicine within our state.

Methods: We electronically sent a survey to 41 hospitals in the state of Utah asking about their interest in creating a pediatric trauma telemedicine network, their expected use, and perceived barriers to implementation.

Results: Eighteen hospitals responded for a response rate of 44%. The distance from our center to the respondent hospitals was between 15 miles and 167 miles. Of the hospitals that responded, 89% were interested in developing a pediatric trauma telemedicine network. Estimates of utilization were more than once a week in 21%, once a week in 21%, once a month in 32% and a few times a year in 26%. The following were all cited by greater than 50% of respondents as important uses of telemedicine: triage, imaging, discharge and local admission decisions, along with parental reassurance, provider support and resuscitation support. Insufficient funding at 46% and inadequate volume to warrant a program at 62% were the most commonly perceived barriers. Overall there was enthusiasm among those surveyed.

Conclusions: There is a strong interest amongst hospitals in our state to implement a pediatric trauma telemedicine program.

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