Wound Care Using Telemedicine

Grant funding from USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program supported by the Central Virginia Telemedicine Network for Nursing Homes and Dialysis Centers in 2014 was awarded to the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System www.healthsystem.virginia.edu for $253,330 to study “Telemedicine Wound Care.” 

The funding was used to indoctrinate telemedicine into caring for patients with wounds at Dogwood Village Health and Rehabilitation www.dogwood.villageocva.org, a long term care facility. At that point, Dogwood partnered with UVA to install telemedicine equipment and provide training for the staff.

A formal program for remote wound care collaborative consultations with UVA’s wound care team began in 2015. At that time, a certified UVA Wound Treatment Associate, treatment nurse and the Director of Nursing provided wound care consultations via telemedicine.

The residents in the long term care facility spent an average of 20 minutes in consultation as compared to the average 8.5 hours spent for transportation to and from the acute care facility and actual clinic waiting and appointment time. As of January 2017, twenty one remote wound care consultations have been completed resulting in an estimated transportation savings of $9,305.

So the study concluded that remote telemedicine consultations between a rural long term care facility and a leading academic medical center diminishes transportation costs, costs related to healthcare, decreases pain, stress, complications and anxiety for the elderly patient.

For more information, contact Teresa Dean RN at the Dogwood Village of Orange County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Virginia at 540-672-2622.

Go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants for information on the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program.

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