, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 1651-1660,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 14 Dec 2010

Implementing Telemedicine in Medical Emergency Response: Concept of Operation for a Regional Telemedicine Hub

Abstract

A regional telemedicine hub, providing linkage of a telemedicine command center with an extended network of clinical experts in the setting of a natural or intentional disaster, may facilitate future disaster response and improve patient outcomes. However, the health benefits derived from the use of telemedicine in disaster response have not been quantitatively analyzed. In this paper, we present a general model of the application of telemedicine to disaster response and evaluate a concept of operations for a regional telemedicine hub, which would create distributed surge capacity using regional telemedicine networks connecting available healthcare and telemedicine infrastructures to external expertise. Specifically, we investigate (1) the scope of potential use of telemedicine in disaster response; (2) the operational characteristics of a regional telemedicine hub using a new discrete-event simulation model of an earthquake scenario; and (3) the benefit that the affected population may gain from a coordinated regional telemedicine network.