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Telemedicine consults may reduce errors at rural ERs

Reuters, November 26, 2013

Emergency rooms in rural areas don't see many very sick or badly injured children each year. When they do, bringing in a pediatric critical care specialist by videoconference to help with treatment could prevent errors, a new study suggests. Researchers found rural ER doctors made errors in administering medication - such as giving the wrong dose or the wrong drug altogether - just 3 percent of the time when they used so-called telemedicine to connect with a specialist. That compared to an 11 percent error rate when local doctors talked with a specialist by phone and a 13 percent error rate when they didn't consult with a specialist at all.