- 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?
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.