The impact of telehealth in sepsis care: A systematic review

Kevin J. Tu, Cole Wymore, Nedelina Tchangalova, Brian M. Fuller, Nicholas M. Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Sepsis is associated with significant mortality. Telehealth may improve the quality of early sepsis care, but the use and impact of telehealth applications for sepsis remain unclear. We aim to describe the telehealth interventions that have been used to facilitate sepsis care, and to summarize the reported effect of telehealth on sepsis outcomes. Data Sources: We identified articles reporting telehealth use for sepsis using an English-language search of PubMed, CINAHL Plus (EBSCO), Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO), APA PsycINFO (EBSCO), Public Health (ProQuest), and Web of Science databases with no restrictions on publication date. Study Selection: Included studies described the use of telehealth as an intervention for treating sepsis. Only comparative effectiveness analyses were included. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines, two investigators independently selected articles for inclusion and abstracted data. A random-effects subgroup analysis was conducted on patient survival treated with and without telehealth. Results: A total of 15 studies were included, involving 188,418 patients with sepsis. Thirteen studies used observational study designs, and the most common telehealth applications were provider-to-provider telehealth consultation and intensive care unit telehealth. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity was significantly high. Telehealth use was associated with higher survival, especially in settings with low control group survival. The effect of telehealth on other care processes and outcomes were more varied and likely dependent on hospital-level factors. Conclusions: Telehealth has been used in diverse applications for sepsis care, and it may improve patient outcomes in certain contexts. Additional interventional trials and cost-based analyses would clarify the causal role of telehealth in improving sepsis outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Sepsis
  • patient outcomes
  • processes of care
  • survival
  • systematic review
  • tele-ICU/tele-ED
  • telehealth


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