The Particulars: Studies show that telemedicine is increasingly being used during critical care consultations for children receiving care in rural EDs. Few studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of these programs.

Data Breakdown: For a study, cost-effectiveness analyses of pediatric telemedicine consultations were assessed using the number of avoided patient transfers from a rural ED to a community or tertiary hospital following a consultation. These data were then compared with data from telephone consultations. Telemedicine consultations resulted in 31% fewer patient transfers when compared with telephone consultations. The annual cost reduction associated with pediatric telemedicine consultations was $4,145 per child.

Take Home Pearl: Telemedicine consultations for seriously ill children seeking care at rural EDs appear to be cost-effective when compared with telephone consultations.