Hospital Name' Teleburn Program Development: Improving Pediatric Access and Care in the Midwest
Heidi Altamirano, RN, MS, CCRN, TCRN; Mark J. Johnston, RN BSN; William J. Mohr, MD
Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN
"Hospital Name" Burn Center is an American Burn Association verified adult and pediatric burn center, covering a large geographic area spanning six states in the Midwest. Rural emergency care in much of the region is performed by advanced practice providers utilizing telemedicine as an adjunct to care. These facilities rarely see pediatric burn patients. It is difficult to maintain the skills and competence to care for this complex population. Literature shows that the burn size is often overestimated resulting in costly transfers that may be unnecessary. In 2014, "Hospital Name" utilized a unique approach to implement a telemedicine program to improve access and care for pediatric burn patients in remote areas. Partnerships were developed with existing health systems and telemedicine networks across the region. Providers in the remote site had immediate access to the specialized multidisciplinary burn team with the press of a button for both acute consults and follow up visits. A three way video call with the existing telemedicine network that the remote facility utilizes, along with the burn surgeon provided access, consultation, and recommendation for care specific to the child. Benefits of this program included improving access to a multidisciplinary team of burn specialists including surgeons, psychotherapists, nurses, and occupational therapists, care recommendations based on accurate burn assessments, and access to "just in time" education for dressing application and wound care. Results indicated a reduction in both the number of children unable to access outpatient services as well as unnecessary acute transfers to burn centers.
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