Telemedicine Reduces ED Visits for Ambulatory-Care-Sensitive Conditions

December 4, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​The rate of emergency department (ED) visits for ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions was 29% lower among senior living community residents who participated in a high-intensity telemedicine program than among residents in the control group, and the rate declined over time in the telemedicine group, reports a study in the December 1, 2015, issue of JAMDA. The intervention was conducted in 6 senior living communities served by a primary care geriatrics practice, while 15 communities also served by the practice were control sites. Residents at intervention communities who consented could receive patient-to-provider, real-time, or store-and-forward telemedicine services for diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses. Available functions included video and audio communication, still images, video clips, sound (e.g., lung sounds), and electrocardiography. The service was available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.

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