Randomized Controlled Trial of Telementoring during Resource-Limited Patient Care Simulation Improves Caregiver Performance and Patient Survival

Jeremy C. Pamplin*, Sena R. Veazey, Stacie Barczak, Stephanie J. Fonda, Maria L. Serio-Melvin, Kevin S. Ross, Christopher J. Colombo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of telementoring on caregiver performance during a high-fidelity medical simulation model (HFMSM) of a critically ill patient in a resource-limited setting. DESIGN: A two-center, randomized, controlled study using a HFMSM of a patient with community-acquired pneumonia complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome. SETTING: A notional clinic in a remote location staffed by a single clinician and nonmedical assistant. PARTICIPANTS: Clinicians with limited experience managing critically ill patients. INTERVENTIONS: Telemedicine (TM) support. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was clinical performance as measured by accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of care. Secondary outcomes were patient survival, procedural quality, subjective assessment of the HFMSM, and perceived workload. MAIN RESULTS: TM participants (N = 11) performed better than non-TM (NTM, N = 12) in providing expected care (accuracy), delivering care more consistently (reliability), and without consistent differences in efficiency (timeliness of care). Accuracy: TM completed 91% and NTM 42% of expected tasks and procedures. Efficiency: groups did not differ in the mean (± sd) minutes it took to obtain an advanced airway successfully (TM 15.2 ± 10.5 vs. NTM 22.8 ± 8.4, p = 0.10) or decompress a tension pneumothorax with a needle (TM 0.7 ± 0.5 vs. NTM 0.6 ± 0.9, p = 0.65). TM was slower than NTM in completing thoracostomy (22.3 ± 10.2 vs. 12.3 ± 4.8, p = 0.03). Reliability: TM performed 13 of 17 (76%) tasks with more consistent timing than NTM. TM completed 68% and NTM 29% of procedural quality metrics. Eighty-two percent of the TM participants versus 17% of the NTM participants simulated patients survived (p = 0.003). The groups similarly perceived the HFMSM as realistic, managed their patients with personal ownership, and experienced comparable workload and stress. CONCLUSIONS: Remote expertise provided with TM to caregivers in resource-limited settings improves caregiver performance, quality of care, and potentially real patient survival. HFMSM can be used to study interventions in ways not possible with real patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1090
JournalCritical Care Explorations
Issue number5
StatePublished - 9 May 2024
Externally publishedYes


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