A 9-month pilot study was initiated to evaluate the feasibility of a Web-based telemedicine program for remote wound care team consultations for patients with chronic wounds.
Wound care nurses in Veterans Health Administration outpatient clinics evaluated 56 patients with chronic wounds over the course of 208 clinic visits. The wounds were predominantly lower-extremity ulcers (diabetic and vascular). The Veterans Affairs Computerized Patient Record System and the Internet were used to obtain consultations and transmit data (store-forward) between the nurse specialists and a multidisciplinary wound care team located at the regional tertiary care center.
During the course of the study, 76% of wounds treated decreased in size; mean response time for consultations was 2.61 days. Exit surveys indicated that 98.2% of patients were satisfied with care; referring providers also indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the teleconsult system.
This study demonstrated that a multidisciplinary wound care team using a store-forward approach can feasibly provide telemedicine consultations for patients in remote locations.