As patient numbers continue to rise Emergency Department's (ED's) are struggling to not only control patient wait times but also to maintain the quality of patient care. Improving patient flow through the ED has been a priority for many years with techniques such as Lean Six–Sigma being implemented specifically to help alleviate the problem. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement recently stated that the best opportunities to improving patient flow relate to the front-end of the ED, namely triage. This contribution examines the use of Telehealth initiatives at the front-end of the ED, specifically tele-consultation, to reduce patient loading, provide timelier healthcare (with improved patient outcomes) and reduce costs.
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