An integrated nursing and telemedicine approach to vascular care.
Bangs I., Clarke M., Hands L., Jones R., Knott M., Mahaffey W.
We have developed a telemedicine approach to vascular care for patients being managed in primary care. District nurses visit patients in their homes. Clinical information and digital photographs can be sent by email to the vascular surgeon for assessment. Where appropriate a preliminary teleconsultation between the patient and a vascular surgeon, with the nurse in attendance, is held at the primary care centre and the management of the patient is agreed. This may include referral to surgery. Over eight months six patients with diabetes and peripheral ulcers participated in the vascular telemedicine clinic. The average consultation time was 12 min (SD 4), which included discussion of the case and negotiation of its management. Important outcomes of the new system were the ability to schedule patients for rapid referral and to have completed the management of the case during the teleconsultation.