Rahul Sharma

The Dr. Rahul Sharma-led Emergency Department Telehealth Express Care Service team was chosen as the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award winner by George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. (John Abbott/Cornell.edu photo)

George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, along with sponsors Urgent Matters, Philips Blue Jay Consulting and Schumacher Clinical Partners, recently announced that a team led by Indian American Dr. Rahul Sharma was chosen as the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year recipient.

Sharma's Emergency Department Telehealth Express Care Service team was submitted to the competition by the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. It was chosen ahead of three others who received honorable mentions.

The ED Telehealth Express Care Service uses telemedicine to rapidly evaluate patients who seek care at their Emergency Departments.

While traditional in-person urgent care and low acuity ED visits may take as long as two to three hours to complete, the 3,000-plus ED Telehealth Express Care patient visits were reduced to a median time of 39 minutes, GWU said in a news release.

Telehealth Express Care visits are performed collaboratively by an advanced practice provider and a telehealth physician. This innovative workflow led to a dramatic decrease in length of stay in conjunction with a high degree of safety and patient satisfaction, it said.

Sharma was named emergency physician-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center and chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in March 2016.

He oversees all operations for the Lisa Perry Emergency Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center as well as for the Division of Emergency Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. Additionally, he serves as medical director of strategic initiatives and Making Care Better for New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

Sharma has also served as executive vice chief of emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Prior to joining New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, he was the medical director and associate chief of service of the emergency department at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The Indian American has been honored with two national teaching awards, including the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association National Excellence in Teaching Award and the American College of Emergency Physicians National Faculty Teaching Award.

In addition, he developed the first physician assistant residency program at New York-Presbyterian, as well as the emergency medicine in-service board review program at New York-Presbyterian.

He received a combined medical and M.B.A. degree in health management from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his specialty training in emergency medicine at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital, where he was selected as chief resident.

Urgent Matters will feature the winning innovation and Recipient of Distinguished Recognition on its webinar series, which can be found at www.gwu.edu/urgentmatters/webinars.

In its fifth year, the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award provides an opportunity for multidisciplinary teams to be acknowledged for their outstanding contributions and also provides a potential platform for disseminating effective solutions to common issues facing the emergency care community, according to GWU.

Sustaining, promoting and improving quality in emergency care requires a team from across departments, the hospital and community, it said, adding that it is looking for innovations that increase the value of care and improve delivery systems.

Submitted innovations for the award are focused in safety and quality, flow and efficiency, care coordination, patient experience and cost consciousness.

One winning team is selected with one member of the winning team receiving the honor of presenting their innovation at the Urgent Matters Conference to be held at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly.

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