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The use of telemedicine in the ER can have positive consequences for patients and healthcare providers

Telemedicine is becoming more common given the current pandemic. COVID-19 restricts visits to clinics and hospitals to ensure the safety of all.But instead of degrading the quality of care, a new study in the INFORMATION journal Information system research We have found that increased use of telemedicine in emergency rooms (ERs) can have positive consequences for both patients and healthcare providers.

The study “Does Telemedicine Reduce Emergency Room Congestion? Evidence from New York State” examines all New York emergency room visits from 2010 to 2014. of stay (LOS). It is partially driven by flexible resource allocation.

Overcrowding of ER is a common and annoying problem. Not only is it costly for the hospital, it also compromises the quality of care and the patient’s experience. The authors of the study, Susan Lou of Purdue University, Shujin San of the University of Texas at Dallas, and Huasia Louis of the University of Rochester, said it was important to find ways to improve ER care delivery as long as it actually worked. Stated.

“The adoption of telemedicine will significantly reduce our ER stay in the event of a surge in demand or supply shortages,” said Lu, a professor at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management. “This improvement does not come at the expense of quality of care or patient costs.”

Using US annual hospital data to reproduce the findings, the authors found that the adoption of ER telemedicine also significantly reduced the waiting time for the average patient.

According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, ER visits in the United States increased by more than 25% between 2000 and 2015. This congestion of ER can result in many negative effects from unhappy patients, reduced physician productivity due to overwork, and increased economic costs due to unnecessary testing.

According to information released by the American Hospital Association in February 2019, 76% of US hospitals use a variety of telemedicine technologies to connect patients with healthcare providers.

This research article provides a more specific picture of the impact of telemedicine on reducing ER congestion and provides positive implications.

The current pandemic shows great expectations for telemedicine applications in hospitals, and by unexpectedly registering such a policy with this study, more healthcare facilities will be able to use this technology in the ER and elsewhere. I hope we can start the process of making it available. Policy makers can also play a role by reducing regulatory barriers that impede the wider use of telemedicine and creating incentives to encourage hospitals to adopt telemedicine more widely in emergency rooms. I can do it. “

Susan Lou, Purdue University


Operations Research and Management Science Institute

Journal reference:

Sun, S. , et al. (2020) Does telemedicine reduce congestion in the emergency room? Evidence from New York State. Information system research.

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