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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 21, No. 2, 2014, pp. 54-62
Bioline Code: mj14022
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2014, pp. 54-62

 en The Implementation of Teleneurosurgery in the Management of Referrals to a Neurosurgical Department in Hospital Sultanah Amninah Johor Bahru
HASSAN, Risdhawati; SIREGAR, Johari Adnan & RAHMAN MOHD, Noor Azman A.

Abstract

Background: Telemedicine in neurosurgery or teleneurosurgery has been widely used for transmission of clinical data and images throughout the country since its implementation in 2006. The impact is a reduction of patient number that need to be reviewed in the level III hospitals and an increment in the number of patients that are kept in level II hospitals for observation by the primary team. This translates to reduction of unnecessary transfer of patients and subsequently cost benefits for patients and medical providers. The main aim is to determine the amount of reduction in unnecessary transfer by the implementation of teleneurosurgery in the management of referrals to neurosurgical department in Hospital Sultanah Amninah Johor Bahru (HSAJB). Other factors associated with transfer decision are also evaluated.
Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted in HSAJB, Johor over four months. A total of 349 subjects referred to HSAJB are included with 12 subjects excluded. The subjects are followed up from the time of referral until three months post-referrals. Related data includes the decision before and after reviewing the radiological images on teleconsultation website with clinical data available.
Results: There was a significant reduction in the number of inter-hospital transfer. 37% of transfer is avoided and patients are best kept in their original hospitals. However, there are additional findings in which there are 20.1% of patients that thought does not require transfer based on clinical data alone, would have to be transferred when the clinical data and images are reviewed. This translates to an increment of 20.1% need to be observed in neurosurgical center. Without the images, these patients might be observed in the referral hospitals with higher risk of deterioration. Other factors that are related to transfer decision apart from images include Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and diagnosis. The GCS significantly associated with transfer when only clinical data is reviewed. However, in situation where clinical data and images are reviewed together, the GCS and diagnosis are significantly associated with transfer decision. On multi-factorial analysis, more of mild head injury being transferred for observation in neurosurgical unit after images and clinical data reviewed which correlates to an increment from 1.85% to 3.9%. Another finding is reduced of risk of patients transferred for trauma from 1.85% to 0.519% after the data reviewed.
Conclusion: Teleneurosurgery is beneficial in the management of referrals from level II hospitals. The inter-hospital transfer is significantly reduced, however there is an increased in the number of patients that need to be observed in neurosurgery unit for the risk of potential deterioration.

Keywords
teleconference; remote consultation; neurosurgery; craniocerebral trauma; coma; post-head injury

 
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Alternative site location: http://www.medic.usm.my/publication/mjms/

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