-Gillespie, SM, et al. Telemedicine and e-Health. January 2016.
A group of researchers from the University of Rochester School of Medicine recently published an article looking at high intensity telemedicine in senior living community residents and its effect on emergency department utilization. They looked at data from a prospective cohort study and compared the annual rate of change in ED use among patients who resided in communities that were more engaged in telemedicine services with those who resided in less engaged communities.
During the study there were a total of 503 telemedicine visits, with 72% in the more engaged community and 28% in the less engaged. For those residing in a more engaged community, they found that ED use decreased at an annualized rate of 28% whereas those in the less engaged there was no significant change in ED use.
This study provides promising results on a means to improve ED utilization in a high risk population, senior citizens, using telemedicine. Hopefully, this will lead to further research on ways to expand the use of telehealth to other patient populations.