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How a Tele-Infectious Disease Program Supports Hospitals During Crisis

A talk by Talbot "Mac" McCormick and Chastity Orr
Eagle Telemedicine and Great Plains Health

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About this talk

Media coverage of COVID-19 is directing attention to Infectious Disease (ID) diagnosis in remote areas. The publicity is raising awareness about the need for ID services, and fueling an interest in Tele-ID. The benefit may encourage hospitals across the country to leverage Tele-ID to address the need to fight more common, dangerous infections, like pneumonia, sepsis, and wound infections.

Key Takeaways

  1. Patient Care: Access to an ID specialist leads to a more correct diagnosis, shorter length of stay, therapies that are more appropriate and fewer complications.
  2. Costs: It is challenging for hospitals in small cities and rural communities to employ ID specialists due to fluctuating demand for care, and constrained resources pressured by demand for higher salaries by ID physicians.
  3. Physician Shortage/Turnover: From 2009 to 2017, the number of academic programs that filled their adult infectious disease training positions dropped by 41%. Provider burnout brought on by long hours and on-call work increases the risk of turnover.

Talbot "Mac" McCormick

MD

Chastity Orr

MSN, RN