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Brandon Eigenman

Researcher Spotlight: Nicholas Mohr, SEARCH 2023 Judges’ Award Recipient

By News

Dr. Nick Mohr, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Epidemiology has been awarded the SEARCH 2023 National Telehealth Research Symposium’ Judge’s Award. His abstract, Provider-to-Provider Sepsis Telehealth Use in Rural Emergency Departments in Medicare Beneficiaries, focuses on evaluating provider-to-provider telehealth in rural emergency departments to understand how sepsis care is changed by having teleconsultation.

Dr. Mohr’s research and its focus on sepsis is strategic. Dr. Mohr notes that other diseases might require specialized surgical teams and operating rooms that makes it difficult to provide telehealth services. “Sepsis is a serious disease. It’s relatively common. It’s associated with really high mortality. It happens commonly for people who are in rural communities, and they often are seen in their local rural hospital, but the factors that are associated with survival from that disease.” Dr. Mohr Explains, “These are largely the care that people receive very, very early after diagnosis of that condition. Much of the expertise that’s required to deliver that high quality care is expertise that can be communicated by telehealth.”

As for the setting of Dr. Mohr’s research, rural hospitals served as the best environment to monitor the impact teleconsultation has on sepsis care. Dr. Mohr explains that 19% of Americans live in rural communities, and the low volume hospitals in these communities typically have worse sepsis outcomes. Dr. Mohr and his team found that  tele-consultations provided an opportunity for early diagnoses for patients, something profoundly important for receiving proper care.

“That’s really important, because it’s such an important aspect to being able to provide appropriate early therapy.” Dr. Mohr says, “We’ve started to understand a little bit better how we might refer refine the use of telehealth for these particular patient groups and certain hospitals, so that we can not just improve the care of patients when they’re in those hospitals, but really, more effectively regionalize sepsis care and get patients to the places that they need to go.”

Dr. Mohr notes that hospitals sharing this data to regionalize care also allows telehealth to more effectively treat its patients. As for the future of telehealth, Dr. Mohr predicts that the field will become more multidisciplinary by necessity. He also notes that this means more collaboration and larger data sets being shared at conferences like SEARCH 2023. 

“There are people who were at the meeting who are clinicians and people who run health systems, and people who are payers, and who are regulators. I think that diversity of thought, that diversity of perspective, really helps us to design better, more generalizable research.” Dr. Mohr says, “It also helps us to improve our evaluation methods, because I think that those diverse opinions really contribute to the rich conversation.”

Watch Dr. Mohr’s Research Spotlight.