Rural hospitals see many of the same emergencies as larger urban hospitals, but likely less frequently and with fewer resources to respond. This can lead to challenges for successful care in the rural environment, including coordination with specialists and transitions of care with inpatient doctors. Telehealth may address this issue by improving communication and standardizing care across all hospitals within a healthcare system.
Researchers from Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center are teaming up with researchers from Northwestern University on a project that will evaluate how on-site simulation may improve critical care outcomes and save lives in rural areas through the integration of telehealth. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded Northwestern University and Jump/OSF HealthCare a $750,000, three-year grant to conduct this research.
The research team will train clinicians on using telehealth to facilitate prescribed steps for treating patients with sepsis in rural Emergency Departments. Sepsis affects more than one-million Americans each year, and costs the hospital industry upwards of $54-billion to treat. Septic Shock has a fatality rate of up to 30%, but early recognition and treatment can reduce mortality and morbidity greatly.
The idea is for medical personnel from rural hospitals to consult with specially trained critical care experts over videoconferencing as they treat patients with sepsis—to add extra eyes on the patient, and aid in transitions of care. Conducting the training through simulation gives clinicians the practice they need with this new technology in their own environments to integrate it into their daily practice before using it in real situations and with real patients.
If Jump can validate the use of simulation to incorporate new technologies to improve care, this idea may be used to target other time-sensitive critical conditions in rural emergency departments like stroke, acute heart conditions, pediatric critical care, and trauma.
These findings could improve patient safety in the country’s many rural emergency departments.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Denise Molina-Weiger, Strategic Relations
309-677-0827 | Denise.Molina@jumpsimulation.org