Health Leaders had an article on improving the throughput of the hospital ER and their success key #4 is the role of video for emergencies . This capability helps connect ER doctors to needed specialists when their patients need it most and it move patients through more quickly so the bed can be made available for the next waiting patient. This type of increased efficiency is ever more important as we prepare for the full impact of health reform.
At my last small rural hospital, I hated hearing that we had to transfer a patient out of our ER because they needed to have a specialist consult -- that we didn't have available. It happened with both adults and children, and had we had video conferencing capabilities we could have probably eliminated 70% of these transfers.
I really believe we will start to experience an increase in telemedicine use in hospitals and one area that is ideal as a pilot for small hospitals is in their emergency room, unless your hospitalists need it first.