Telemedicine, telehealth follow up to reduce emergency room revisits

A great deal of importance has been placed on reducing same-cause hospital readmissions, but what about emergency room (ER, Emergency Department=A&E in UK) revisits? Sometimes they are needed–for increased pain, further testing or medication checks when the staff is doubtful the patient will follow up on their own–but often not. Two telemedicine/telehealth programs in Pennsylvania aims to cut these high rates of return–up to 20 percent in a month. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is piloting video call follow up plus a call center to phone patients at risk of revisit to help with needed appointments. A group of insurers and providers, the HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, will also share patient information among local ERs when the insurance number is entered, a measure that may prevent unneeded testing. Modern Healthcare Hat tip to our readers at Practice Unite

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