Duke using telemedicine to cut ER wait times

From WRAL:

Many people are often reluctant to seek emergency care at a hospital because they think they’ll be stuck in a crowded waiting room for hours before they see a doctor.

Duke University Hospital’s emergency department is trying to use telemedicine to address the concerns.

A Duke pilot program tested their use for non-critical patients soon after they arrive at times of peak demand.

“The physician can ask any question that is necessary. The patient’s not waiting any longer for anything to be started on their care,” Kapadia said.

The physician may be on call, meaning he or she is speaking to patients from home. But the physician can still order blood tests and imaging, making real progress on the patient’s case even though the patient may be sent right back out to the hospital’s waiting room.

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