Objective: To determine if the Georgia Statewide Academic and Medical System Telemedicine Network can deliver subspecialty pediatric care to rural areas of Georgia.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review was conducted of a clinical experience, over a 30-month period from November 1993 through June 1996, involving 13 pediatric cardiology-related encounters in seven male and six female patients. Patients' ages ranged from 5 days to 16 years. Eleven encounters were initiated because of a suspicion of congenital heart disease (CHD); two encounters involved postoperative evaluations in patients who had recently undergone cardiac surgery at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG).
Results: Of the 11 patients suspected to have CHD, five had CHD documented during the telemedicine evaluation, of whom two were transferred to MCG for further invasive evaluation and surgical correction. Three others with CHD, and the remaining six patients who required no further subspecialty follow-up, were followed in their home communities by their primary care physicians.
Conclusions: Telemedicine is a useful tool for the evaluation of infants and children with suspected CHD.