Telemedicine may expand access to acute illness care and reduce emergency department ED visits for older adults.
Older adults commonly visit the emergency department (ED) for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Telemedicine has the potential to expand access to acute illness care and prevent ED visits for older adults. This study assesses the impacts of a high-intensity telemedicine program for older adults in senior living communities on their rates of ED use for ACSCs.
Participants in the program experienced a 34 percent annual 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.
Health care organizations can consider using high-intensity telemedicine for older adults to help them avoid unnecessary ED visits.