Friday, January 27, 2006

ED Telemedicine in Mississippi

Information about the "TelEmergency" program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center:

In response to a lack of emergency care and physicians in many rural areas of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has developed and directs the operation of a rural health telemedicine initiative called TelEmergency.

Providing qualified emergency care in rural hospitals with low patient volumes can be cost prohibitive. Additionally, it is difficult to recruit and retain physicians to these areas. Utilizing a nurse practitioner as the healthcare provider, the Emergency Department of the University of Mississippi Medical Center effectively provides emergency coverage in participating hospitals through the TelEmergency system.

The nurse practitioner works under the protocol of the University Emergency Department, as approved by the Mississippi Board of Nursing and the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure. The nurse practitioner is specially trained by UMC to function in this unique model of healthcare.

Rural hospitals have contracted with the University of Mississippi Medical Center to allow the Emergency Medicine specialist backup for the nurse practitioners who completed the program and were hired by the local facility. When these nurse practitioners staff the rural ED, they communicate with Emergency Medicine physicians at UMC via T-1 lines and a sophisticated telemedicine setup.


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