The Effectiveness of Video-Telemedicine for Screening of Patients Requesting Emergency Air Medical Transport (EAMT)

In recent years, there has been an increase in emergency air medical transport (EAMT) demand. Patient outcome benefit has been questioned in correlation to high EAMT cost. The authors discuss a study of 822 patient transfers in which video-telemedicine effectiveness in patient preflight screening is evaluated. Patient medical records were retrospectively collected over a three year period (November 1999-October 2002) for those air lifted to Taiwan from the Penghu Islands for stage 1 of the study, with no standardized protocols or EAMT screening guidelines, rather screening primarily through patient requests and health conditions. Records of patients screened preflight using video web cameras during a ten-month period (November 2002-August 2003) were used for stage 2, using protocols and National Aeromedical Consultation Center implemented EAMT screening criteria. For both study groups, patient gender, age, illness type, and disease classification were similar. Stage 1 patients were younger than stage 2. There was a 36.2% EAMT application reduction in stage 2, with a 91.2% flight approval rate. Stage 2 intervention presented a significant cross-zone transport reduction (from 16.1% to 0.1% for entry to northern Taiwan). There was an increase from 74.9% to 88.3% in within-zone transfers, while stage 2 physician triage cost analysis showed annual savings on EAMTs of $448,986 (US). The authors conclude that video-telemedicine physician-assisted preflight screening can be an essential physician decision-making support tool that reduces unnecessary EAMTs and, subsequently, reduces cost.

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  • Authors:
    • Tsai, Shin-Han
    • Kraus, Jess
    • Wu, Hsueh-Ru
    • Chen, Wan-Lin
    • Chiang, Ming-Fu
    • Lu, Li-Hua
    • Chang, Chia-En
    • Chiu, Wen-Ta
  • Publication Date: 2007-2


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01045369
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 27 2007 1:59PM