Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Sepsis Survivor Week: Telemedicine gives rural emergency departments a boost in treating sepsis patients

According to Sepsis Alliance, sepsis – the body's life-threatening response to infection – kills 270,000 Americans every year. Another 1.4 million survive sepsis every year, but often with life-changing physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

Sepsis patients at rural hospitals are more likely to receive appropriate and timely treatment when emergency department providers take advantage of telemedicine options, a new study has found.

“Sepsis is a powerful use for provider-to-provider telemedicine in rural emergency departments,” says Nicholas Mohr, MD, MS, clinical associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia, and lead author of the study. “Unlike heart attack, stroke, or traumatic injury, high-quality sepsis care doesn’t require specialized procedures or equipment. A sepsis specialist can guide evaluation and treatment via telemedicine and help provide high-quality care at low-volume rural hospitals.”

Timeliness of quality care is essential in successfully treating sepsis, making it that rare condition where early treatment is more important to patient outcomes than early transfer to a larger hospital.

The paper is “Provider-to-provider telemedicine improves adherence to sepsis bundle care in community emergency departments.” 

Monday, February 10, 2020