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Telemedicine Used to Identify and Treat Sepsis the Number One Preventable Cause of Deaths in Hospitals

Sepsis is one of the most preventable causes of death among medical facilities today, and the Illinois health system is now doing something about it.

Telemedicine and Training Program takes on Sepsis

Using a $750,000 AHRQ grant to develop a three year telemedicine program led by the JumpTrading Simulation & Education Center and assisted by Northwestern University, the plan is to reduce the occurrence of sepsis among rural hospitals with the use of technologically advanced training mannequins and confer with specialists via the telemedicine platform.

Improvements in Rural Medical Care Expected

This project is expected to make great medical advances in rural medical facilities, as telemedicine technology will allow rural clinicians and medical staff to conduct video conferences for the purpose of collaboration and the treating of patients. This training will benefit rural areas, making further improvements outside the treatment of sepsis by positively affecting other medical emergency statistics for acute heart conditions, trauma and pediatric critical care.

Sepsis requires a quick diagnosis for proper treatment, costing the U.S. approximately $54 million each year. This speedy diagnosis is needed to prevent septic shock, which can be fatal. Using technology for diagnosis and treatment of sepsis is not a new concept, as Mercy Virtual Care Center addressed this same issue earlier in 2015 with a telesepsis program that significantly reduced both costs and fatalities associated with this medical condition.

Telemedicine: Making a Difference

Other technological learning models have been introduced by mobile application and video game designers to assist medical professionals in the speedy diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, but one problem still remains. While these programs have clear and simple goals that seem plausible, introducing new technologies such as telehealth to rural health care facilities and personnel can be quite a difficult task due to many different factors such as clinician expertise and patient volume.

To make a difference in the way sepsis is handled within rural health facilities, medical staff members, clinicians and other health professionals must be open to change and willing to adjust workflow to incorporate telemedicine for the benefit of their patients.