Thomas S Nesbitt

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States

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Publications (47)101.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To assess the quality and diagnostic accuracy of pediatric sexual abuse forensic examinations conducted at rural hospitals with access to telemedicine compared with examinations conducted at similar hospitals without telemedicine support. Medical records of children less than 18 years of age referred for sexual abuse forensic examinations were reviewed at five rural hospitals with access to telemedicine consultations and three comparison hospitals with existing sexual abuse programs without telemedicine. Forensic examination quality and accuracy were independently evaluated by expert review of state mandated forensic reporting forms, photo/video documentation, and medical records using two structured implicit review instruments. Among the 183 patients included in the study, 101 (55.2%) children were evaluated at telemedicine hospitals and 82 (44.8%) were evaluated at comparison hospitals. Evaluation of state mandatory sexual abuse examination reporting forms demonstrated that hospitals with telemedicine had significantly higher quality scores in several domains including the general exam, the genital exam, documentation of examination findings, the overall assessment, and the summed total quality score (p<0.05 for each). Evaluation of the photos/videos and medical records documenting the completeness and accuracy of the examinations demonstrated that hospitals with telemedicine also had significantly higher scores in several domains including photo/video quality, completeness of the examination, and the summed total completeness and accuracy score (p<0.05 for each). Rural hospitals using telemedicine for pediatric sexual abuse forensic examination consultations provided significantly higher quality evaluations, more complete examinations, and more accurate diagnoses than similar hospitals conducting examinations without telemedicine support.
    Child abuse & neglect. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To compare the frequency of physician-related medication errors among seriously ill and injured children receiving telemedicine consultations, similar children receiving telephone consultations, and similar children receiving no consultations in rural emergency departments (EDs).METHODS:We conducted retrospective chart reviews on seriously ill and injured children presenting to 8 rural EDs with access to pediatric critical care physicians from an academic children's hospital. Physician-related ED medication errors were independently identified by 2 pediatric pharmacists by using a previously published instrument. The unit of analysis was medication administered. The association of telemedicine consultations with ED medication errors was modeled by using hierarchical logistic regression adjusting for covariates (age, risk of admission, year of consultation, and hospital) and clustering at the patient level.RESULTS:Among the 234 patients in the study, 73 received telemedicine consultations, 85 received telephone consultations, and 76 received no specialist consultations. Medications for patients who received telemedicine consultations had significantly fewer physician-related errors than medications for patients who received telephone consultations or no consultations (3.4% vs 10.8% and 12.5%, respectively; P < .05). In hierarchical logistic regression analysis, medications for patients who received telemedicine consultations had a lower odds of physician-related errors than medications for patients who received telephone consultations (odds ratio: 0.19, P < .05) or no consultations (odds ratio: 0.13, P < .05).CONCLUSIONS:Pediatric critical care telemedicine consultations were associated with a significantly reduced risk of physician-related ED medication errors among seriously ill and injured children in rural EDs.
    PEDIATRICS 11/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the quality of care delivered to critically ill and injured children receiving telemedicine, telephone, or no consultation in rural emergency departments. Retrospective chart review with concurrent surveys. Three hundred twenty patients presenting in the highest triage category to five rural emergency departments with access to pediatric critical care consultations from an academic children's hospital. Quality of care was independently rated by two pediatric emergency medicine physicians applying a previously validated 7-point implicit quality review tool to the medical records. Quality was compared using multivariable linear regression adjusting for age, severity of illness, and temporal trend. Referring physicians were surveyed to evaluate consultation-related changes in their care. Parents were also surveyed to evaluate their satisfaction and perceived quality of care. In the multivariable analysis, with the no-consultation cohort as the reference, overall quality was highest among patients who received telemedicine consultations (n = 58; β = 0.50 [95% CI, 0.17-0.84]), intermediate among patients receiving telephone consultation (n = 63; β = 0.12 [95% CI, -0.14 to 0.39]), and lowest among patients receiving no consultation (n = 199). Referring emergency department physicians reported changing their diagnosis (47.8% vs 13.3%; p < 0.01) and therapeutic interventions (55.2% vs 7.1%; p < 0.01) more frequently when consultations were provided using telemedicine than telephone. Parent satisfaction and perceived quality were significantly higher when telemedicine was used, compared with telephone, for six of the seven measures. Physician-rated quality of care was higher for patients who received consultations with telemedicine than for patients who received either telephone or no consultation. Telemedicine consultations were associated with more frequent changes in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, and higher parent satisfaction, than telephone consultations.
    Critical care medicine 08/2013; · 6.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Introduction: This study evaluates the financial impact of telemedicine outreach in a competitive healthcare market from a tertiary children's hospital's perspective. We compared the number of transfers, average hospital revenue, and average professional billing revenue before and after the deployment of telemedicine. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective review of hospital and physician billing records for patients transferred from 16 hospitals where telemedicine services were implemented between July 2003 and December 2010. Hospital revenue was defined as total revenue minus operating costs. Professional billing revenue was defined as total payment received as the result of physician billing of patients' insurance. We compared the number of transfers, average net hospital revenue per year, and average professional billing revenue per year before and after the deployment of telemedicine at these hospitals. Results: There were 2,029 children transferred to the children's hospital from the 16 hospitals with telemedicine during the study period. The average number of patients transferred per year to the children's hospital increased from 143 pre-telemedicine to 285 post-telemedicine. From these patients, the average hospital revenue increased from $2.4 million to $4.0 million per year, and the average professional billing revenue increased from $313,977 to $688,443 per year. On average, per hospital, following the deployment of telemedicine, hospital revenue increased by $101,744 per year, and professional billing revenue increased by $23,404 per year. Conclusions: In a competitive healthcare region with more than one children's hospital, deploying pediatric telemedicine services to referring hospitals resulted in an increased market share and an increased number of transfers, hospital revenue, and professional billing revenue.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 07/2013; 19(7):502-8. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Telehealth at the University of California Health System began as a telefetal monitoring connection with a rural hospital in 1992 and evolved to become the Center for Health and Technology (CHT) in 2000. The Center supports the vision of the University of California Davis (UC Davis) Health System-a healthier world through bold innovation. The CHT focuses on the four pillars of the academic health center: clinical services, research and scholarly work, education, and public service. Since 1996, the Center has provided more than 33,000 telemedicine consultation (excluding teleradiology, telepathology, and phone consultations) in over 30 clinical specialties and at more than 90 locations across California. Research and continuous evaluation have played an integral role in shaping the telehealth program, as well as strategic collaborations and partnerships. In an effort to expand the field of telehealth the CHT provides telehealth training for health professionals, technical specialists, and administrators. Furthermore, it also plays an integral role in workforce development through the education of the next generation of community primary care physicians through Rural Programs In Medical Education (Rural PRIME) and continuing educational programs for working health professionals through videoconferencing and Web-based modalities. The Center is supported through a variety of funding sources, and its sustainability comes from a mix of fee-for-service payment, contracts, grants, gifts, and institutional funding. Together with key partners, UC Davis has educated and informed initiatives resulting in legislation and policies that advance telehealth. Looking toward the future, UC Davis is focused on technology-enabled healthcare and supporting synergy among electronic health records, health information exchange, mobile health, informatics, and telehealth.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 01/2013; · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Teledermatology has been used to provide increased specialty access for medically underserved communities. In California, policies enable the California Medicaid (Medi-Cal) program to provide reimbursement for both store-and-forward (S&F) and live-interactive teledermatology consultations. To assess the effectiveness of teledermatology operations for this population, understanding the referring providers' perspective is crucial. The primary objective of this study was to explore the perspective of referring primary care providers (PCPs) on teledermatology by focusing on the operational considerations, challenges, and benefits to participating in teledermatology referral in the context of the Medi-Cal population. Subjects and Methods: We conducted hour-long one-on-one interviews with 10 PCPs who refer patients to teledermatology regularly and who together serve an average aggregate referral base of 2,760 teledermatology cases yearly. Results: Of the 2,760 aggregate annual teledermatology referrals, PCPs reported that they serve predominantly uninsured or underinsured populations and participate in S&F consultations. The majority of surveyed PCPs treat common skin conditions themselves. However, these PCPs refer more patients to teledermatology consultations than in-person dermatology encounters. Several factors influence PCPs' decision to refer to teledermatology, which include complexity of the skin problem, distance to accessible dermatologist, patient's insurance, and patient's preferences. PCPs identified improved workflow, enhanced communication with dermatologists, and faster turnaround for recommendations as three areas that referring physicians would like improved in their experience with teledermatology. Conclusions: Understanding the referring provider's perspective and subsequently adopting policy and practice solutions to address their challenges are vital to prompting further teledermatology participation for underserved communities.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 08/2012; 18(8):580-4. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    Stacey L Cole, John H Grubbs, Cathy Din, Thomas S Nesbitt
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Medication errors contribute to a significant number of fatal and nonfatal adverse medical events each year. Many actions, from both a policy and innovation standpoint, have been taken to reduce medication errors in the inpatient setting; yet, these actions often target larger urban hospitals. Rural hospitals face many more challenges in implementing these changes due to fewer resources and lower patient volumes. Our article discusses the implementation and results of a telepharmacy demonstration implemented between the University of California Davis Health System and six rural hospitals. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review obtained baseline medication errors for comparison with the prospective review of medication orders through telepharmacy. Medication orders from rural hospitals were transmitted via fax to the University of California Davis Pharmacy for after-hours review. If a medication required after-hours removal from the pharmacy, it was requested that video verification by a telepharmacist be used to verify that the correct medication was removed from the pharmacy. Results: Baseline findings from the retrospective chart review indicated that 30.0% of patients had one or more medication errors and that these errors occurred in 7.2% of the medication orders. None of these errors were found to have resulted in harm to the patients. During the telepharmacy demonstration, 2,378 medication orders were screened from 504 independent order review requests. In total, 58 (19.2%) patients had one or more medication errors. The errors from the telepharmacy demonstration represented potential errors that were identified through telepharmacy medication review. Conclusions: Telepharmacy represents a potential alternative to around-the-clock on-site pharmacist medication review for rural hospitals.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 07/2012; 18(7):530-7. · 1.40 Impact Factor
  • Archives of dermatology 05/2012; 148(5):649-50. · 4.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite increasing practice of teledermatology in the U.S., teledermatology practice models and real-world challenges are rarely studied. The primary objective was to examine teledermatology practice models and shared challenges among teledermatologists in California, focusing on practice operations, reimbursement considerations, barriers to sustainability, and incentives. We conducted in-depth interviews with teledermatologists that practiced store-and-forward or live-interactive teledermatology from January 1, 2007 through March 30, 2011 in California. Seventeen teledermatologists from academia, private practice, health maintenance organizations, and county settings participated in the study. Among them, 76% practiced store-and-forward only, 6% practiced live-interactive only, and 18% practiced both modalities. Only 29% received structured training in teledermatology. The average number of years practicing teledermatology was 4.29 years (SD±2.81). Approximately 47% of teledermatologists served at least one Federally Qualified Health Center. Over 75% of patients seen via teledermatology were at or below 200% federal poverty level and usually lived in rural regions without dermatologist access. Practice challenges were identified in the following areas. Teledermatologists faced delays in reimbursements and non-reimbursement of teledermatology services. The primary reason for operational inefficiency was poor image quality and/or inadequate history. Costly and inefficient software platforms and lack of communication with referring providers also presented barriers. Teledermatology enables underserved populations to access specialty care. Improvements in reimbursement mechanisms, efficient technology platforms, communication with referring providers, and teledermatology training are necessary to support sustainable practices.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28687. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Store-and-forward (S&F) teledermatology has been used to increase patient access to dermatologic care. A major challenge to implementing S&F teledermatology is selecting secure and cost-saving applications for data capture and transmission. Detailed analyses and comparison of the major S&F teledermatology applications do not exist in the current peer-reviewed literature. The objectives of this study were to identify, evaluate, and compare the major S&F teledermatology applications in the United States to help referral and consultant sites select applications responsive to their needs. We identified four major, commercially available S&F teledermatology applications after surveying the members of the American Telemedicine Association Teledermatology Special Interest Group and the Telemedicine Task Force of the American Academy of Dermatology. A multidisciplinary team of dermatologists, primary care physicians, and information technologists established a set of criteria used to evaluate the applications. We performed a comparative analysis of the four major S&F teledermatology applications based on the predetermined evaluation criteria. The four major, commercially available S&F teledermatology applications evaluated in this study were Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network, Medweb, TeleDerm Solutions, and Second Opinion. All four teledermatology applications were mature and capable of addressing the basic needs of S&F teledermatology referrals and consultations. Each application adopts different approaches to organize medical information and facilitate consultations. Areas in need of improvement common to these major applications include (1) increased compatibility and integration with established electronic medical record systems, (2) development of fully integrated billing capability, (3) simplifying user interface and allowing user-designed templates to communicate recommendations and patient education, and (4) reducing the cost of the applications. The four major S&F teledermatology applications in the United States are versatile applications capable of facilitating communication between referral and consultant sites. Continued efforts in making these applications more secure, robust, user-friendly, and affordable will contribute to wider implementation of S&F teledermatology.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 05/2010; 16(4):424-38. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rural residents report lower likelihood of exercising, and higher rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes compared to their urban counterparts. Our goals were to (1) investigate the outcomes of telemedicine consultations for pediatric obesity on changes/additions to diagnoses, diagnostic evaluation or treatment, and (2) determine whether changes in diagnostic and management recommendations made by the consultant were associated with improvements in patient nutrition, activity level, and weight. We conducted a retrospective medical record review of patients referred to a University-affiliated Children's Hospital Pediatric Telemedicine Weight Management Clinic for a diagnosis of obesity. Of the 139 children and adolescents who received pediatric weight management consultations during the study period, 99 patients met inclusion criteria. Weight management consultations resulted in changes/additions to diagnoses in 77.8% of patients and changes/additions to diagnostic evaluation in 79.8% of patients. Of patients seen more than once, 80.7% showed improvement in clinical outcomes. Of patients seen more than once, 80.6% improved their diet, 69.4% increased activity levels, 21.0% showed slowing of weight gain or weight maintenance, and 22.6% showed weight reduction. Improvements in clinical outcomes were not associated with changes/additions to diagnoses (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.98; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.25-3.98) and were weakly associated with changes/additions to diagnostic evaluations (OR = 2.23; 95% CI = 0.58-8.73). However, changes/additions to treatment were associated with improvement in weight status (OR = 9.0; 95% CI = 1.34-76.21). Obesity consultations were associated with changes/additions to diagnoses, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment. Treatment changes were associated with improvement in weight status. Telemedicine weight management consultations have the potential to result in modifications in patient care plans and outcomes.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 07/2008; 14(5):434-40. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors describe the development of MyInfoVault (MIV), a Web-based central data repository with a variety of integrated applications that generate a series of professional documents. These documents can be circulated and archived. MIV was developed and piloted over several years (2002-2006) at the University of California-Davis in response to a perceived need to improve management of faculty merit and promotion dossiers. This article focuses on the faculty advancement module (PacketOnline) of MIV. Additional applications for generating a personal curriculum vitae and NIH Biosketch are also briefly described. The authors report their experience with a two-year pilot program for PacketOnline, including an evaluation of its functionality derived from a user survey. Tasks for dossier preparation were rated fairly equivalently to the conventional method. Initial data entry was reported to be tedious, and there were frustrations with unanticipated glitches, typical of new systems. The largest improvements and benefits were seen in electronic review of dossiers, which was considered to be more efficient and effective than the conventional paper method. The authors found all users to be generally supportive of the new electronic system. The authors conclude that an electronic database with applications for faculty merit and promotion review is a worthwhile tool, and they suggest using a multidisciplinary team of users to achieve buy-in. Additional enhancements and monitors of performance of the MIV system are ongoing.
    Academic Medicine 08/2007; 82(7):704-12. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared the impact of multipoint videoconferencing (VC) versus standard lecturing (ST) on primary care providers' (MDs, NPs/PAs, and RNs) education regarding hepatitis C virus (HCV). The hypothesis was that the educational impact of teaching through telemedicine is comparable to the traditional method. The aim was to provide participants clinically relevant information and knowledge about the natural history, diagnosis, and management of HCV. Improved knowledge was scored from a 10-item quiz administered before and after the educational intervention. Comparison of the pretest knowledge scores within provider groups showed no statistically significant difference in baseline knowledge for the ST versus VC method. However, for all practitioners combined, the VC group scored significantly lower on the pretest than the ST group (p < 0.05). All three types of learners improved their knowledge scores following intervention. On average, MDs and NP/PAs correctly answered two to 3.5 more questions in the posttest. RNs showed the greatest improvements, correctly answering an average of four to five more questions following intervention. Improvement in knowledge scores between the two methods was statistically significant in favor of VC for the MDs (VC = 3.56 +/- 1.92 vs. ST = 2.13 +/- 1.89, p < 0.001) and all groups combined (VC 4.37 +/- 1.92 vs ST 3.06 +/- 1.89, p < 0.001). The results of this study indicate that VC is equivalent, if not better, than standard continuing medical education (CME). VC can potentially improve clinician education regarding the history, diagnosis, and management of HCV, thereby making a substantial impact on the clinical course of patients with this condition. In addition, VC has the potential to eliminate the financial and geographic barriers to professional education for rural practitioners.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 06/2007; 13(3):269-77. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Disease management modules (DMM), including education, tracking, support, and medical care, have improved health for patients with asthma and diabetes. For rural patients, novel ways of delivery are needed to access clinical expertise from urban or academic specialists. Telemedicine (telephone and televideo) could be instrumental in this process, though no randomized, controlled trials have assessed their effectiveness.Methods. Self-report and structured psychiatric interviews were used to screen potential depressed subjects. Subjects were randomized to: 1) usual care with a DMM using telephone and self-report questionnaires; or 2) a DMM using telephone, questionnaires, and monthly televideo psychiatric consultation emphasizing primary care physician (PCP) skill development. Subjects' depressive symptoms, health status, and satisfaction with care were tabulated at three, six, and 12 months after study entry.Results. There was significant clinical improvement for depression in both groups, with a trend toward significance in the more intensive module. Satisfaction and retention was superior in the more intensive group. There was no overall change in health functioning in either group.Conclusions. Intensive modules using telepsychiatric educational interventions toward PCPs may be superior, but the most critical ingredient may be administrative tracking of patients, prompted intervention by PCPs, and (when necessary) new ideas by a specialist.
    Psychiatry 02/2007; 4(2):58-65.
  • Mitra Mofid, Thomas Nesbitt, Robin Knuttel
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    ABSTRACT: We studied patient preferences for a real-time teledermatology consultation or a conventional dermatology consultation. Dermatology patients were given the option of being seen by a dermatologist at their outlying primary care site via telemedicine or of being examined face-to-face by the same dermatologist at the primary care site. The same dermatologist provided the teleconsultations and the conventional consultations. During a 16-month study period, 52 patients were evaluated via telemedicine and 46 patients were seen face-to-face. The demographics for both study groups were similar. Those patients who selected telemedicine were more likely to have seen a dermatologist fewer than twice during the previous year, more likely to self-describe themselves in excellent health and more likely to choose a face-to-face evaluation when presenting with a possible skin cancer or a mole. Patients aged 56 years or less tended to be more likely to be seen via telemedicine, although the association with age was not significant (P = 0.06). This information may help providers to devise strategies to direct patients to telemedicine if and when it is appropriate.
    Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 02/2007; 13(5):246-50. · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most home health agencies that adopt home telehealth tend to be located in urban or metropolitan areas. This paper discusses a 3-year pilot of home telehealth in four rural areas. Several challenges related to the rural nature of the home health agencies were recognized. These challenges are discussed with recommendations for assessing rural home health agencies for home telehealth. Our findings suggest ways to improve the implementation of home telehealth for rural home health agencies. In addition to the challenges, successes were realized as well. Approximately 145 travel hours and 7500 miles of nurse travel were avoided through the use of home telehealth during the program. Patient examples show improvements in their medical conditions, which the nursing staff thought would not have been accomplished without the more frequent monitoring that home telehealth allowed the agencies to provide.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 05/2006; 12(2):107-13. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Troubling deficits exist in palliative care (PC) of older adults under the prevailing "terminal care"-oriented model. We previously described a PC model--TLC--that provides a blueprint for remedying these shortfalls. In this model, PC is envisioned as Timely and Team-oriented, Longitudinal, and Collaborative and Comprehensive. We present results of the Palliative Care in Assisted Living pilot, comparing two TLC model-based, facility delivered interventions for improving the PC of elderly assisted living residents in Sacramento, California, a growing and under-researched population. The less intensive intervention involved one assessment followed by a PC improvement recommendation letter to the resident, family member, primary provider, and facility staff, while the more intensive intervention involved assessments and letters every three months. Primary outcomes were SF-36 Physical (PCS) and Mental (MCS) Component scores and recommendation adherence. Eighty-one subjects enrolled (mean age 85), 58 in the more and 23 in the less intensive group. A loved one attended 56% of baseline assessments. Most subjects expressed a preference for maintaining current quality of life over prolonging life at reduced quality. None were eligible for hospice care. A total of 418 recommendations (mean 5.1 per subject) were generated concerning symptoms, mood, functional impairments, and advance directives. We found no significant differences in recommendation adherence between more (42%) and less (44%) intensive groups, and no significant changes in PCS and MCS scores within or between groups. However, a loved one's attendance of the baseline assessment was associated with improved PCS scores (p=0.04). Our pilot study had methodological limitations that could account for the lack of significant outcome effects. In this context, and given the myriad unmet PC needs we detected, interventions based on the TLC model might allow delivery of timely PC to assisted living residents not eligible for hospice care. Further studies exploring the TLC model appear warranted.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 02/2006; 62(1):199-207. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New models of psychiatric intervention are needed to improve the accessibility of mental health care in the primary-care setting, particularly in rural areas of the United States. Some models of service delivery have been successful in suburban and urban settings, but they do not always apply to rural settings. "E-health" innovations like videoconferencing, telephone, secure messaging (e-mail), and the Internet are increasingly being used to provide consultation--liaison service to primary care. This article briefly reviews successful models used in primary care, their application to rural sites, new models for rural sites, and suggestions for future e-health research.
    Psychosomatics 01/2006; 47(2):152-7. · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • Donald M Hilty, Peter M Yellowlees, Thomas S Nesbitt
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    ABSTRACT: Rural populations remain underserved in terms of psychiatric services. This study assesses changes over time in the utilization of telepsychiatric services by individual primary care providers (PCPs) and clinics in rural areas, specifically: (a) types of referrals for telepsychiatry service; (b) PCPs' knowledge and skills related to medication dosing; and (c) PCPs' satisfaction with telepsychiatry. Data with regard to patient demographics, diagnoses, reason for consultation, medication dosing and satisfaction were prospectively collected on the first 200 and the subsequent 200 telepsychiatric initial consultations. A number of educational interventions were implemented during the project. Adult patients were primarily referred for mood and anxiety disorders, particularly for diagnosis and medication treatment planning. Over time, PCPs significantly improved medication dosing and asked for more treatment planning help. PCPs' satisfaction also improved over time. Telepsychiatric consultation, in combination with specific educational interventions, appears to facilitate the enhancement of skills and knowledge of PCPs. "Developmental" steps in provider and clinic evolution, along with interventions specific to a given provider's and a given site's needs, ought to be further elucidated.
    General Hospital Psychiatry 01/2006; 28(5):367-73. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether outpatient telemedicine specialty consultations to primary care clinicians result in changes in a patient's diagnosis, treatment management, and clinical outcomes. Medical records of patients who received two or more clinical telemedicine consultations in dermatology, psychiatry, and endocrinology were evaluated in a nonconcurrent retrospective analysis. Three indicators were used to measure changes in the processes of care and clinical outcomes: change in diagnosis, change in treatment, and patient clinical improvement. A retrospective review of 223 individual telemedicine patient medical records was conducted. Specialty telemedicine consultations were found to result in changes in diagnoses in 48% of the cases, changes in treatment therapy in 81.6% of the cases, and clinical improvement in 60.1%. These results are consistent with previous literature that has assessed changes in processes of care and outcomes from face-to-face specialty consultations in outpatient clinics. Changes in diagnosis and treatment therapy were found to be associated with clinical improvement with odds ratios (ORs) of 2.66 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.47-4.83) and 11.22 (95% CI: 4.49-31.48), respectively. This study found that telemedicine consultations resulted in changes in diagnosis and treatment regimens and also are associated with clinical improvements.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 03/2005; 11(1):36-43. · 1.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
101.89 Total Impact Points


  • 1997–2014
    • University of California, Davis
      • • Center for Health and Technology
      • • Department of Dermatology
      • • School of Medicine
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
      • • Department of Family and Community Medicine
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Davis, California, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Utah
      Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • 2000–2005
    • California State University, Sacramento
      Sacramento, California, United States