UC Davis Health wins first-place award at national telehealth symposium

Oral abstract presentation garners highly coveted Judge’s Award


Researchers at UC Davis Health garnered the Judge’s Award for Best Oral Abstract Presentation at the SEARCH 2021 National Telehealth Research Symposium, once again demonstrating the academic institution’s commitment to increasing access to high-quality care using technology.

Hosted by the Society for Education and Advancement in Research in Connected Health (SEARCH), the virtual sixth annual symposium held Nov. 8-10 showcased telehealth and connected health efforts, strategies and partnerships, and featured more than 120 speakers and presenters from across the nation. A total of 80 poster abstracts were submitted to the symposium and 44 of them were selected for oral abstract presentations. The presentation by Katherine Rominger, a pediatric telehealth research analyst, won the Judge’s Award for Best Oral Abstract Presentation.

The “Implementing Telehealth and Image Exchange to Create a Virtual Pediatric Trauma Center” presentation is the brainchild of James Marcin, a professor of pediatric critical care and director of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, Jennifer Rosenthal, an associate professor of clinical pediatrics, and Rominger. It focused on UC Davis Health’s creation of a Virtual Pediatric Trauma Center (VPTC) that uses videoconferencing and image sharing technology to care for injured children at hospital emergency departments across California.

“Our study is unique in that we’re focusing on how the use of a Virtual Pediatric Trauma Center at hospitals can provide more family-centered care and help decreases family distress,” Rominger said. “We are one-year into a two-year study, so the research team took this opportunity to evaluate the program and identify barriers other hospitals may have in establishing a similar center. We also identified strategies for overcoming those barriers.”

Marcin said these virtual centers have the potential to improve communication and patient care.

“Children and their families experience tremendous distress and anxiety following trauma and being transferred to a busy regional trauma center is even more stressful. We’re trying to address this anxiety and communicate with the family what will happen to their children before they come,” Marcin said. “This model of care is very novel, and we hope to collect data from this study demonstrating the positive impact these telehealth consultations can have on family distress.”

Pictured, from left to right: James Marcin, Katherine Rominger and Jennifer Rosenthal 

This isn’t the first time UC Davis Health has been honored at the National Telehealth Research Symposium. In 2019, researchers took home the People’s Choice Award for Best Poster Abstract Presentation for their presentation about the challenges people faced during a one-year study that utilized video visits to improve blood glucose levels in high-risk children with Type 1 diabetes.

Five people from UC Davis Health presented at the symposium on a variety of topics, including using telehealth for asthma care during the COVID-19 pandemic, improving access to behavioral health care using telehealth in rural American Indian communities, and parent and therapist experiences in a tele-physiatry program.