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Transforming Healthcare

TeleHealth in Simulations and Training for Better Patient Outcomes

By Vanessa Washington RN

Jul 3, 2017

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How is TeleHealth improving patient care?

Intermountain’s Critical Care TeleHealth team regularly works with bedside ICU teams across the system to care for patients. Bringing in the TeleHealth team to help in the bedside team’s regular trainings was a perfect fit. Our goal is to be a part of the bedside team, and one of the best ways to do that is not only work together, but train together.

In a recent simulation at Sevier Valley Hospital, the two teams working together were able to identify areas for improvement they wouldn’t have without the simulation-based approach. From ensuring the right medications are in the right places for the right situations to the standardization of practices and procedures, the simulation trainings help the bedside and TeleHealth teams care for patients, as well as improving communication and strengthening teamwork.

We did a similar training with the ICU team at Bear River Hospital, who were also grateful for oversight from someone who couldn’t get their hands involved, but was an extra set of eyes and ears to help the bedside team stay aware of everything that was going on.

Where do we go from here?

The value of those rapid response simulations is greatly diminished if we don’t get back together afterward and talk about what went right, what could be improved and how it can be improved.

Then we share that knowledge with others who might benefit from it. We are working with operations managers to apply what the teams have learned as Pediatric TeleHealth programs like Critical Care and Trauma are implemented.

We are using the TeleHealth to conduct trainings for yearly programs like Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and the Newborn Resuscitation Program to partner sites in Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming in addition to our own facilities.

Our cardiovascular teams are also using TeleHealth to do trainings. We are going into patient homes and teaching patients, their families, and other people in their support system away from Intermountain how to manage cardiovascular issues.