The CTN has sponsored Peds PLACE (Pediatric Physician Learning and Cooperative Education), a weekly Pediatric Tele-educational Conference, since 2006. This is the first program of its Community Based Research and Education (CoBRE) Core Facility that uses the facilities of the Center for Distance Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The conferences are held every Thursday from 12:15 – 1:15 PM. The conferences cover a different pediatric problem each week with all the connecting sites being able to interact with the speaker and with each other in real time. The conference begins with a case presentation that illustrates the topic to be discussed. The speaker will frequently have a written guideline covering the topic discussed, which will be posted on the Web, and will use the case presentation to guide us through the most important parts of the guidelines. By 2010, we had decreased infant mortality across the State from 8.3/1,000 births to 6.8/1,000 births, amounting to saving about 60 babies per year, every year.
Peds PLACE is being expanded by providing telemedicine units to the Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City, along with 5 sites at American Indian hospitals. The purpose of this program is to help decrease infant mortality in these hospitals, as we did for Arkansas.
Emergency care requires making timely decisions and providing the appropriate treatment for saving lives and preventing significant morbidity. Arkansas ranks last for its emergency care environment. Challenges include an insufficient supply of physicians, public health concerns, and inadequacies in care (no organized trauma system), disaster preparedness, and quality initiatives. In response, we implemented an educational and research program to accompany the newly mandated statewide trauma system. The objective is to provide education and research with the goal of improved emergency care and outcomes. We established EDs PLACE, a monthly conference targeting emergency services professionals (paramedics, EMTs, nurses and doctors). Six telemedicine units were placed in hospital EDs in partnership with 9 from another program, bringing the total to 15. Five sessions have been delivered and all sites signed on. We will interview representatives from each site to determine satisfaction and solicit suggestions for relevant topics. Requests were made from Emergency Medical Service personnel for sessions on issues relevant to care en route to the ED. The goal is to form a research network of most EDs in the state, develop consensus guidelines, evaluate the newly funded trauma system, and provide a diverse population for emergency research.
In addition, we have launched an Emergency Dispatcher Training telephone App to enable rural dispatchers to be better trained and provide more detailed information to emergency service personnel with a view towards decreasing mortality from trauma, stroke, and heart attack especially in rural areas.