Technology in Emergency Medicine

Telehealth Solutions for In-hospital Communication with Patients Under Isolation During COVID-19

Fang, J.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a public health crisis that has quickly overwhelmed our healthcare system. It has led to significant shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and intensive care unit beds across the nation. As the initial entry point for patients with suspected COVID illness, emergency departments (ED) have had to adapt quickly to prioritize the safety of patients and providers while still delivering optimal, timely patient care. COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the ED that also extend to all inpatient services. Some of these key challenges are the fundamental tasks of communicating with patients in respiratory isolation while minimizing PPE usage and enabling all patients who have been affected by hospitals’ visitor restrictions to connect with their families. We discuss the design principles behind implementing a robust in-hospital telehealth system for patient-provider and patient-family communication, provide a review of the strengths and weaknesses of potential videoconferencing options, and deliver concise, step-by-step guides for setting up a secure, low-cost, user-friendly solution that can be rapidly deployed.

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Novice Physician Ultrasound Evaluation of Pediatric Tricuspid Regurgitant Jet Velocity

Binder, ZW.

Pulmonary hypertension, associated with high mortality in pediatric patients, is traditionally screened for by trained professionals by measuring a tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRJV). Our objective was to test the feasibility of novice physician sonographers (NPS) to perform echocardiograms of adequate quality to exclude pathology (defined as TRJV > 2.5 meters per second).

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A Novel Multimodal Approach to Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education in Low-Resource Settings

Dreyfuss, A.

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) enables physicians to make critical diagnosis and treatment decisions at the bedside. However, access to and expertise with this technology remain limited in Peru. Establishing longitudinal POCUS educational curriculums in remote, low-resource settings can be challenging due to geographical distances, encumbering the ability to provide ongoing hands-on support. Previously described educational interventions have focused on training individual users on clinical applications of POCUS, rather than training physicians how to teach POCUS, thereby limiting scalability and sustainable impact. We therefore describe our experiences establishing the first ultrasound fellowship curriculum in Peru, which incorporates tele-ultrasonography to circumvent traditional geographical barriers.

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Diagnostic Accuracy of Point-of-Care Ultrasound for Intussusception in Children Presenting to the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Lin-Martore, M.

Ileocolic intussusception is a common cause of pediatric bowel obstruction in young children but can be difficult to diagnose clinically due to vague abdominal complaints. If left untreated, it may cause significant morbidity. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapid, bedside method of assessment that may potentially aid in the diagnosis of intussusception. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of POCUS for children with suspected ileocolic intussusception by emergency physicians (EP).

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Ultrasound Hypotension Protocol Time-motion Study Using the Multifrequency Single Transducer Versus a Multiple Transducer Ultrasound Device

Sabbadini, L.

Ultrasound hypotension protocols (UHP) involve imaging multiple body areas, each with different transducers and imaging presets. The time for task switching between presets and transducers to perform an UHP has not been previously studied. A novel hand-carried ultrasound (HCU) has been developed that uses a multifrequency single transducer to image areas of the body (lung, heart, abdomen, superficial) that would typically require three transducers using a traditional cart-based ultrasound (CBU) system. Our primary aim was to compare the time to complete UHPs with a single transducer HCU to a multiple transducer CBU.

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Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Resident Use of Point-of-Care Ultrasound

Schnittke, MD, et al.

Emergency medicine residency programs have rigorous point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) curricula. However, this training does not always readily translate to routine use in clinical decision-making. This study sought to identify and overcome barriers that could prevent resident physicians from performing POCUS during clinical shifts.

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Initial Standardized Framework for Reporting Social Media Analytics in Emergency Care Research

Roland, PhD, et al.

While tools exist to standardize the reporting of clinical studies and systematic reviews, there is no agreed framework for examining social media–based research. This article presents a publication and appraisal checklist for such work and invites further collaboration in the form of a Delphi technique to clarify, expand, improve, and validate the proposal.

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Characterizing New England Emergency Departments by Telemedicine Use

Zachrison, MD, et al.

Telemedicine connects emergency departments (ED) with resources necessary for patient care; its use has not been characterized nationally, or even regionally. Our primary objective was to describe the prevalence of telemedicine use in New England EDs and the clinical applications of use. Secondarily, we aimed to determine if telemedicine use was associated with consultant availability and to identify ED characteristics associated with telemedicine use.

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Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Intravenous Line Placement: A Narrative Review of Evidence-based Best Practices

Gottlieb, MD, et al.

Peripheral intravenous line placement is a common procedure in emergency medicine. Ultrasound guidance has been demonstrated to improve success rates, as well as decrease complications and pain. This paper provides a narrative review of the literature focusing on best practices and techniques to improve performance with this procedure. We provide an evidence-based discussion of preparation for the procedure, vein and catheter selection, multiple techniques for placement, and line confirmation.

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Diagnostic Accuracy of Ultrasound for Identifying Shoulder Dislocations and Reductions: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Gottlieb, MD, et al.

Patients with shoulder dislocations commonly present to the emergency department. Ultrasound has the potential to save time, radiation exposure, healthcare costs, and possible need for re-sedation. We conducted this systematic review to compare the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound compared with plain radiography in the assessment of shoulder dislocations.

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Impact of Internally Developed Electronic Prescription on Prescribing Errors at Discharge from the Emergency Department

Hitti, MD, et al.

Medication errors are common, with studies reporting at least one error per patient encounter. At hospital discharge, medication errors vary from 15%–38%. We assessed the impact of introducing an internally developed, low-cost E-prescription system, with a list of commonly prescribed medications, on prescription error rates at discharge from the ED, compared to handwritten prescriptions.

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Caudal Edge of the Liver in the Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ) View Is the Most Sensitive Area for Free Fluid on the FAST Exam

Viveta Lobo, MD

The focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) exam is a critical diagnostic test for intraperitoneal free fluid (FF). Current teaching is that fluid accumulates first in Morison’s pouch. The goal of this study was to evaluate the “sub-quadrants” of traditional FAST views to determine the most sensitive areas for FF accumulation.

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Ultrasound Detection of Patellar Fracture and Evaluation of the Knee Extensor Mechanism in the Emergency Department

Kiersten Carter, MD et al.

Traumatic injuries to the knee are common in emergency medicine. Bedside ultrasound (US) has benefits in the rapid initial detection of injuries to the patella. In addition, US can also quickly detect injuries to the entire knee extensor mechanism, including the quadriceps tendon and inferior patellar ligament, which may be difficult to diagnose with plain radiographs.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.