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Improving Transitions to the Community for Ventilator Assisted Individuals Using Telemedicine technology FREE TO VIEW

Laura Watling, MHA; Raj Kohli, BS; Roger Goldstein, MD; Monica Avendano, MD
Author and Funding Information

West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada

Chest. 2014;145(3_MeetingAbstracts):203A. doi:10.1378/chest.1836575
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SESSION TITLE: Telemedicine Posters

SESSION TYPE: Poster Presentations

PRESENTED ON: Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

PURPOSE: Ventilator assisted individuals (VAI) encounter barriers to accessing timely and effective follow up with their clinical team, post discharge to the community. This may contribute to avoidable emergency department visits and intensive care unit admissions. In many jurisdictions, reducing avoidable readmissions is an important area for improving the quality and safety of health care and making more effective use of health care resources.

METHODS: In 2012, West Park Healthcare Centre (WPHC) instituted a new model of clinical follow up using Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) technology. OTN Personal Computer Videoconferencing Service (PCVC) is easy to use and provides secure, inexpensive patient follow-up in the community setting. Upon discharge from WPHC, each VAI received a laptop with OTN’s PCVC software allowing the patient, family and their caregivers to video conference securely with the multidisciplinary team. PCVC follow up appointments were predetermined at biweekly intervals with an average duration of 30 minutes. Troubleshooting is facilitated by this approach, as broad access to the most appropriate members of the clinical team can be made available 24 hours /7 days a week.

RESULTS: On a seven question five-point rating scale, more than 80% of patients regarded being mostly or very satisfied with the program. Compared with conventional home visits there was a substantial saving per visit using the PCVC approach. Since program inception there have been decreased emergency room visits and no unexpected acute care admissions.

CONCLUSIONS: Benefits of PCVC follow up include increased capacity for visual follow up sessions, increased response time for patients contacting the multidisciplinary team and significant cost savings compared to a therapist home visit. This program offers improved access to medical care for VAI and gives assurance to their caregivers.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The application of telemedicine technology provides ready access to the multidisciplinary team for the patient and caregivers and extends the spectrum of care for the VAI.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Laura Watling, Raj Kohli, Roger Goldstein, Monica Avendano

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