High-Intensity Telemedicine Decreases Emergency Department Use for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions by Older Adult Senior Living Community Residents

Paper
Key Questions Answered
  • How can the need for emergency department (ED) visits for older adults be reduced?
  • What is the evidence for the effectiveness of a high-intensity telemedicine program in reducing ED visits?
Key Themes and Takeaways

Telemedicine has the potential to expand access to acute illness care and prevent ED visits for older adults. This resource describes a study assessing a high-intensity telemedicine program for older adults.

  • This high-intensity telemedicine model, called Health-e-Access, addresses urgent conditions (e.g., bronchitis, mild pneumonia), but not truly emergent conditions (e.g., respiratory failure).
  • In the study, the intervention group had access to Health-e-Access, which provided patient-to-provider, real-time, or store-and-forward telemedicine services. The services included video and audio communication, images, video clips, sound, and electrocardiograms.
  • Participants in the program experienced a 34 percent decrease in the rate of ED use for relevant conditions over one year, whereas control group members experienced no change in the rate of ED use.
Authors
Manish N. Shah
Erin B. Wasserman
Suzanne M. Gillespie
Nancy E. Wood
Hongyue Wang
Katia Noyes
Dallas Nelson
Ann Dozier
Kenneth M. McConnochie
Population Addressed
Frail Older Adults
Level of Evidence
Moderate Evidence
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