A protocol for telemedical consultation

J Telemed Telecare. 1997;3(3):163-8. doi: 10.1258/1357633971931084.


We have developed a protocol for telemedical consultations. This has been used by emergency nurse practitioners to consult doctors in a main hospital accident and emergency department, using videoconferencing at 384 kbit/s. A telemedical consultation should simulate a face-to-face one. The protocol starts with an explanation for the patient of what will happen, followed by the necessary introductions. After relaying the history, the generalist should show the abnormal part to the specialist. Attention should be paid to colour. Depth perception is often enhanced by rotating the camera through 180 degrees. The diagnosis and management, together with their implications, should be discussed with the patient by the specialist. Referral and follow-up should also be discussed. Proper clinical record-keeping is essential. In the first 15 months of using the protocol, we completed more than 300 teleconsultations. An analysis of the first 50 teleconsultations showed that about half were for discussing a radiograph and about half were for examining a patient.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Remote Consultation / methods*