Neal Sikka, MD, is determined to create a new paradigm for emergency departments that have become “the rapid diagnostic unit for the community” over the past decade. Sikka, who has more than 20 years of practicing telemedicine under his belt, developed a phone- and video-based platform for the George Washington University Hospital’s ED. Called Connect-ER, the platform is designed to help the ED handle only true emergencies, while referring low-risk admissions, scheduled and unscheduled follow-ups and other non-emergency cases to telemedicine consults.

At the recent HIMSS Connected Health Conference’s Population Health Summit, Sikka described how the platform works:

  • Patients who enter the ED are screened and referred to Connect-ER if appropriate.
  • Referred patients must sign a consent form and view a short video explaining the process.
  • Patients are then connected to the call center, manned by EMTs.
  • The EMTs set up a telemedicine consult with a physician.

Once the newly launched program gains traction, Sikka expects to see ROI in terms of reduced readmissions, improved outcomes in follow-up care, better patient satisfaction scores – and new, improved brand identify for the ED.

Learn more about how telemedicine can work hand-in-hand with the ED to ensure patients receive the best and fastest care, while also preventing the ED from becoming overcrowded and ineffective.

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