The Impact of Telehealth and Care Coordination on the Number and Type of Clinical Visits for Children With Medical Complexity.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the effects of an advanced practice nurse-delivered telehealth intervention on health care use by children with medical complexity (CMC). Because CMC account for a large share of health care use costs, finding effective ways to care for them is an important challenge requiring exploration.This was a secondary analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial with a control group and two intervention groups. The focus of the analysis was planned and unplanned clinical and therapy visits by CMC over a 30-month data collection period. Nonparametric tests were used to compare visit counts among and within the three groups.The number of unplanned visits decreased over time across all groups, with the greatest decrease in the video telehealth intervention group. Planned visits were higher in the video telehealth group across all time periods.Advanced practice registered nurse-delivered telehealth care coordination may support a shift from unplanned to planned health care service use among CMC.
Project description:Serious mental illness (SMI) with psychiatric instability accounts for disproportionately high use of emergency room visits and hospitalizations.To evaluate the effectiveness of an automated telehealth intervention supported by nurse health care management for improving psychiatric illness management and reducing acute service use among individuals with SMI and psychiatric instability.Thirty-eight individuals with SMI received the automated telehealth intervention for 6 months. Psychiatric symptoms, illness self-management, and self-reported service use (emergency room visits and hospital admissions) were collected at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Measures of quality of life, health indicators, and subjective health status were also collected.Participants demonstrated improvements in self-reported psychiatric symptoms and illness self-management skills, an 82% decrease in hospital admissions (from 76 to 14 hospitalizations, p < 0.001) and a 75% decrease in emergency room visits (from 63 to 16 visits, p < 0.001). Improvements were also observed in quality of life, severity of depressive symptoms, and mental health status.These highly promising findings support the use of an automated telehealth device monitored by a nurse care manager for people with SMI, and highlight the potential for cost savings through reductions in acute health care utilization.
Project description:Purpose of review:The progressive nature of dementia requires ongoing care delivered by multidisciplinary teams, including rehabilitation professionals, that is individualized to patient and caregiver needs at various points on the disease trajectory. Video telehealth is a rapidly expanding model of care with the potential to expand dementia best practices by increasing the reach of dementia providers to flexible locations, including patients' homes. We review recent evidence for in-home video telehealth for patients with dementia and their caregivers with emphasis on implications for rehabilitation professionals. Recent findings:Eleven studies were identified that involved video visits into the home targeting patients with dementia and/or their family caregivers. The majority describe protocolized interventions targeting caregivers in a group format over a finite, pre-determined period. For most, the discipline of the interventionist was unclear, though two studies included rehabilitation interventions. While descriptions of utilized technology were often lacking, many reported that devices were issued to participants when needed, and that technical support was provided by study teams. Positive caregiver outcomes were noted but evidence for patient-level outcomes and cost data are mostly lacking. Summary:More research is needed to demonstrate implementation of dementia best care practices through in-home video telehealth. Though interventions delivered using in-home video telehealth appear to be effective at addressing caregivers' psychosocial concerns, the impact on patients and the implications for rehabilitation remain unclear. Larger, more systematic inquiries comparing in-home video telehealth to traditional visit formats are needed to better define best practices.
Project description:Background: Children with medical complexity (CMC) are high utilizers of health care services. Telehealth encounters may provide a means to improve care outcomes for this population. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility, usability, and impact of an in-home telehealth device in the care of CMC. Methods: This single-center feasibility study employed a nonblinded randomized clinical trial design. English-speaking caregivers of children within a pediatric complex care program with home Wi-Fi were eligible for participation. Participants were randomized 1.5:1 with stratification based on tracheostomy status to a control group that received usual care or an intervention group that received a telehealth device for in-home use. Patients were followed up for 4 months. The primary outcome was successful device connectivity and data transmission. Data included clinician encounter device usability; caregiver satisfaction; and encounter type, purpose, and cost. Descriptive statistics, negative binomial regression, and Kaplan-Meier plot were used for analysis. Results: Twenty-four patients were enrolled (9 controls, 15 in the intervention group) in September 2016. The telehealth device was attempted in 73 encounters. Device connectivity was successful 96% of the time. Image and sound quality were acceptable in 98% of visits. Caregivers expressed their overall satisfaction with the device. The hospitalization rate was lower in the intervention group (0.77 vs. 1.14 intensive care unit days/patient-months), resulting in $9,425/USD per patient savings compared with the control group. Conclusion: Despite small sample size and short observation period, this study demonstrated that use of an in-home telehealth device is feasible, well received by caregivers, and can result in decreased hospitalizations when compared with usual care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Children with rare bone diseases (RBDs), whether medically complex or not, raise multiple issues in emergency situations. The healthcare burden of children with RBD in emergency structures remains unknown. The objective of this study was to describe the place of the pediatric emergency department (PED) in the healthcare of children with RBD. METHODS:We performed a retrospective single-center cohort study at a French university hospital. We included all children under the age of 18?years with RBD who visited the PED in 2017. By cross-checking data from the hospital clinical data warehouse, we were able to trace the healthcare trajectories of the patients. The main outcome of interest was the incidence (IR) of a second healthcare visit (HCV) within 30?days of the index visit to the PED. The secondary outcomes were the IR of planned and unplanned second HCVs and the proportion of patients classified as having chronic medically complex (CMC) disease at the PED visit. RESULTS:The 141 visits to the PED were followed by 84?s HCVs, giving an IR of 0.60 [95% CI: 0.48-0.74]. These second HCVs were planned in 60 cases (IR?=?0.43 [95% CI: 0.33-0.55]) and unplanned in 24 (IR?=?0.17 [95% CI: 0.11-0.25]). Patients with CMC diseases accounted for 59 index visits (42%) and 43?s HCVs (51%). Multivariate analysis including CMC status as an independent variable, with adjustment for age, yielded an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of second HCVs of 1.51 [95% CI: 0.98-2.32]. The IRR of planned second HCVs was 1.20 [95% CI: 0.76-1.90] and that of unplanned second HCVs was 2.81 [95% CI: 1.20-6.58]. CONCLUSION:An index PED visit is often associated with further HCVs in patients with RBD. The IRR of unplanned second HCVs was high, highlighting the major burden of HCVs for patients with chronic and severe disease.
Project description:Introduction:The widespread coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in significant changes in care delivery among radiation oncology practices and demanded the rapid incorporation of telehealth. However, the impact of a large-scale transition to telehealth in radiation oncology on patient access to care and the viability of care delivery are largely unknown. In this manuscript, we review our implementation and report data on patient access to care and billing implications. As telehealth is likely to continue after COVID-19, we propose a radiation oncology-specific algorithm for telehealth. Material and Methods:In March 2020, our department began to use telehealth for all new consults, post-treatment encounters, and follow-up appointments. Billable encounters from January to April 2020 were reviewed and categorized into one of the following visit types: in-person, telephonic, or two-way audio-video. Logistic regression models tested whether visit type differed by patient age, income, or provider. Results:There was a 35% decrease in billable activity from January to April. In-person visits decreased from 100% to 21%. Sixty percent of telehealth appointments in April were performed with two-way audio-video, and 40% by telephonic only. In-person consultation visits were associated with higher billing codes compared to two-way audio-video telehealth visits (p<0.01). No difference was seen for follow-up visits. Univariate and multivariable analysis identified that older patient age was associated with reduced likelihood of two-way audio-video encounters (p<0.01). The physician conducting the telehealth appointment was also associated with the type of visit performed (p<0.01). Patient income was not associated with the type of telehealth visit. Conclusions:Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to move the majority of patient visits to telehealth but observed inconsistent utilization of the audio-video telehealth platform. We present guidelines and quality metrics for incorporating telehealth in radiation oncology practice, based on type of encounter and disease subsite.
Project description:Background COVID-19 has mandated rapid adoption of telehealth for surgical care. However, many surgical providers may be unfamiliar with telehealth. This study evaluates the perspectives of surgical providers practicing telehealth care during COVID-19 to help identify targets for surgical telehealth optimization. Materials and Methods At a single tertiary care center with telehealth capabilities, all department of surgery providers (attending surgeons, residents, fellows, and advanced practice providers) were emailed a voluntary survey focused on telehealth during the pandemic. Descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U analyses were performed as appropriate on responses. Text responses were thematically coded to identify key concepts. Results The completion rate was 41.3% (145/351). Providers reported increased telehealth usage relative to the pandemic (p<0.001). Of respondents, 80% (116/145) had no formal telehealth training. Providers estimated that new patient video visits required less time than traditional visits (p=0.001). Satisfaction was high for several aspects of video visits. Comparatively lower satisfaction scores were reported for the ability to perform physical exams (sensitive and non-sensitive) and to break bad news. The largest barriers to effective video visits were limited physical exams (55.6%; 45/81) and lack of provider or patient internet access/equipment/connection (34.6%; 28/81). Other barriers included ineffective communication and difficulty with fostering rapport. Concerns regarding video-to-telephone visit conversion were loss of physical exam/verbal cues (34.3%; 24/70), less personal interactions (18.6%; 13/70), and reduced efficiency (18.6%; 13/70). Conclusions Telehealth remains a new experience for surgical providers despite its expansion. Optimization strategies should target technology barriers and include specialized virtual exam and communication training.
Project description:CONTEXT:Telemedicine has the potential to extend care reach and access to home-based hospice services for children. Few studies have explored nurse perspectives regarding this communication modality for rural pediatric cohorts. OBJECTIVES:The objective of this qualitative study was to learn from the experiences of rural hospice nurses caring for children at the end of life using telehealth modalities to inform palliative communication. METHODS:Voice-recorded qualitative interviews with rural hospice nurse telehealth users inquiring on nurse experiences with telehealth. Semantic content analysis was used. RESULTS:About 15 hospice nurses representing nine rural hospice agencies were interviewed. Nurses participated in an average of eight telehealth visits in the three months prior. Nurses were female with a mean age of 38 years and an average of seven years of hospice nursing experience. Five themes about telehealth emerged: accessible support, participant inclusion, timely communication, informed and trusted planning, and familiarity fostered. Each theme had both benefits and cautions associated as well as telehealth suggestions. Nurses recommended individualizing communication, pacing content, fostering human connection, and developing relationships even with technology use. CONCLUSION:The experiences of nurses who use telehealth in their care for children receiving end-of-life care in rural regions may enable palliative care teams to understand both the benefits and challenges of telehealth use. Nurse insights on telehealth may help palliative care teams better honor the communication needs of patients and families while striving to improve care access.
Project description:Craniofacial clinics are composed of multidisciplinary teams of providers to deliver coordinated and comprehensive patient care. The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted this model, as social distancing guidelines have precluded in-person patient appointments and forced clinics to reconsider their method of care delivery. The University of California, San Francisco, Craniofacial Center has continued to serve patients during this acute period, adopting a hybrid model in which the vast majority of patients are seen through telehealth and a limited number of patients are evaluated in-person. Surveyed patients and families reported high rates of satisfaction, with time savings cited as a particular benefit. Furthermore, most felt comfortable using the video technology required for their appointment. This experience has demonstrated to us that multidisciplinary craniofacial evaluations can be effectively delivered in a telehealth format and has informed our conception of idealized clinic structure. Moving forward, we intend to utilize telehealth visits for selected components of craniofacial evaluations in an effort to maximize efficiency and minimize burden, including addressing barriers to accessing care. Benefits of a hybrid model will include decongestion of clinics and waiting areas, allowing social distancing, addressing clinic space limits, and increased efficiency by eliminating the need for patient and family movement. Demonstration of the safety and efficacy of telehealth visits, combined with regulatory reform that improves reimbursement and allows for appointments across state lines, will be critical for this model to persist beyond the pandemic.
Project description:Primary care providers (PCPs) have few tools for enhancing patient self-efficacy, a key mediator of myriad health-influencing behaviors.To examine whether brief standardized patient instructor (SPI)-delivered training increases PCPs' use of self-efficacy-enhancing interviewing techniques (SEE IT).Randomized controlled trial.Fifty-two family physicians and general internists from 12 primary care offices drawn from two health systems in Northern California.Experimental arm PCPs received training in the use of SEE IT training during three outpatient SPI visits scheduled over a 1-month period. Control arm PCPs received a single SPI visit, during which they viewed a diabetes treatment video. All intervention visits (experimental and control) were timed to last 20 min. SPIs portrayed patients struggling with self-care of depression and diabetes in the first 7 min, then delivered the appropriate intervention content during the remaining 13 min.The primary outcome was provider use of SEE IT (a count of ten behaviors), coded from three audio-recorded standardized patient visits at 1-3 months, again involving depression and diabetes self-care. Two five-point scales measured physician responses to training: Value (7 items: quality, helpfulness, understandability, relevance, feasibility, planned use, care impact), and Hassle (2 items: personal hassle, flow disruption).Pre-intervention, study PCPs used a mean of 0.7 behaviors/visit, with no significant between-arm difference (P?=?0.23). Post-intervention, experimental arm PCPs used more of the behaviors than controls (mean 2.7 vs. 1.0 per visit; adjusted difference 1.7, 95 % CI 1.1-2.2; P?<?0.001). Experimental arm PCPs had higher training Value scores than controls (mean difference 1.05, 95 % CI 0.68-1.42; P?<?0.001), and similarly low Hassle scores.Primary care physicians receiving brief SPI-delivered training increased their use of SEE IT and found the training to be of value. Whether patients visiting SEE IT-trained physicians experience improved health behaviors and outcomes warrants study. CLINICALTRIALS.NCT01618552.
Project description:During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, cardiologists have attempted to minimize risks to their patients by using telehealth to provide continuing care. Rapid implementation of video consultations in outpatient clinics for patients with heart disease can be challenging. We employed a design thinking tool called a customer journey to explore challenges and opportunities when using video communication software in the cardiology department of a regional hospital. Interviews were conducted with 5 patients with implanted devices, a nurse, an information technology manager and two cardiologists. Three lessons were identified based on these challenges and opportunities. Attention should be given to the ease of use of the technology, the meeting features, and the establishment of the connection between the cardiologist and the patient. Further, facilitating the role of an assistant (or virtual assistant) with the video consultation software who can manage the telehealth process may improve the success of video consultations. Employing design thinking to implement video consultations in cardiology and to further implement telehealth is crucial to build a resilient health care system that can address urgent needs beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.