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Home-Based Telemedicine for Children with Medical Complexity.

Home-Based Telemedicine for Children with Medical Complexity.

Home-Based Telemedicine for Children with Medical Complexity.

Telemed J E Health. 2019 Jan 10;:

Authors: Notario PM, Gentile E, Amidon M, Angst D, Lefaiver C, Webster K

Abstract
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.

PMID: 30628860 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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