HumanInsight Telehealth for Geriatric Post Emergency Department Visit to Promote Age Friendly Care
Health Serv Res. 2022 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14058. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To describe a feasibility pilot study for older adults that addresses digital divide, unmet healthcare needs, and the 4Ms of Age Friendly Health Systems via emergency department (ED) follow up home visits supported by telehealth.
DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: Data sources were a pre-implementation site survey and pilot phase individual-level patient data from six US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) EDs.
STUDY DESIGN: A pre-implementation survey assessed existing geriatric ED processes. In the pilot called SCOUTS (Supporting Community Outpatient, Urgent care & Telehealth Services), sites identified high risk patients during an ED visit. After ED discharge, Intermediate Care Technicians (ICTs), (former military medics), performed follow up telephone or home visits. During the follow up visit, ICTs identified "what matters," performed geriatric screens aligned with Age Friendly Health Systems, observed home safety risks, assisted with video telehealth check ins with ED providers, and provided care coordination. SCOUTS visit data were recorded in the patient's electronic medical record using a standardized template.
DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Sites surveyed via electronic form. Administrative pilot data extracted from VA Corporate Data Warehouse, May-October 2021.
PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: Site surveys showed none of the EDs had a formalized way of identifying the 4M "what matters." During the pilot, ICT performed 56 telephone and 247 home visits. All home visits included a telehealth visit with an ED provider (n=244) or geriatrician (n=3). ICTs identified 44 modifiable home fall risks and 99 unmet care needs, recommended 80 pieces of medical equipment, placed 36 specialty care consults, and connected 180 patients to a Patient Aligned Care Team member for follow up.
CONCLUSIONS: A post ED follow up program in which former military medics perform geriatric screens and care coordination is feasible. Combining telehealth and home visits allows providers to address what matters and unmet care needs.
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