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Telemedicine and telehealth communications are emerging rapidly in health care and have the potential to decrease costs for insurers, providers and prevent disease complications. In our country, the development of neonatal surgery is an important task of the health care system, because birth defects have been the most prevalent cause of infant mortality for many years. Using telesurgery to operate in conjunction with a local surgeon, telesurgery allows the remotely located expert or consultant surgeons to prevent complications including respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, bleeding and more.
We aim to evaluate effectiveness of telementoring especially in practice of nenonatal surgery due to its’ emergency care and estimate transportation costs that could be minimized.
Total 21 cases using telementoring in remote areas were analyzed. We contacted pediatric surgeons who received telementoring service between 2019 and 2022. We developed questionnaire with 33 questions related to telementoring and neonatal backround information.
Study participants’ mean age was 52.1±10.3 hours and 14 (66.7%) neonatal babies were male. 11 neonatal babies (52.4%) live in soum. 10 participants (47.6%) were diagnosed with Q42.3. Mean duration of operation time was 70.8±9.4 minutes. During operation, complications were occurred in 2 neonates and they could recover by telementoring. Total 19 neonates (90.4%) were alive. During the online consultation, none of surgeons complain any problem related to internet connection and equipment. Mean distance between soum and province was 141.8±33.9 kilometer and mean duration was 159.8±33.6 minutes. Moreover, mean distance between province and Ulaanbaatar was 736.2±71.7 kilometer and mean duration was 596.1±48.9 minutes. We could reduce transportation cost by 1.472.000 MNT (460 $) in result of telesurgery.
Using telementoring in neonatal emergency surgery is effective on decreasing neonatal mortality diagnosed with congenital defect, emergency condition required surgery, and transportation related cost and it can prevent any complication related to lost time and heavy transportation
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