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Telemedicine Reduces Emergency Room Visits in Senior Living Communities

A new study on telemedicine and e-health concludes that emergency department use declines with increased engagement in telemedicine programs.

University of Rochester and University of Wisconsin researchers studied the rate of emergency department use among senior living communities using telemedicine to greater and lesser degrees, compared with communities that had no telemedicine program at all.

They found that emergency department use declined at an annualized rate of 28 percent for communities more engaged in telemedicine programs and showed no change for less-engaged communities.

High-intensity telemedicine programs use telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical health care at a distance for individuals with acute or chronic illnesses.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. Reducing Emergency Department Utilization through Engagement in Telemedicine by Senior Living Communities.