Evaluation of a Telehealth Service for COPD and HF patients: Clinical outcome and patients’ perceptions

Odeh, Bassel, Kayyali, Reem, Nabhani-Gebara, Shereen, Philip, Nada, Robinson, Patricia and Russell Wallace, Catherine (2015) Evaluation of a Telehealth Service for COPD and HF patients: Clinical outcome and patients’ perceptions. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 21(5), pp. 292-297. ISSN (print) 1357-633X


NHS Croydon Health Services and NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group have been providing telehealth services for the past 36 months. The aim of this study was to measure the impact of telehealth when implemented as a service within a standard patient care pathway. To measure the clinical outcomes, the number of A&E visits and hospital admissions, recorded on the NHS Secondary Uses Service database, were compared before and after the implementation of the telehealth service. The number of all events despite its cause and the number of events related to the patients’ diagnosed condition were collected. To elicit patients’ perceptions about the telehealth service, a cross sectional survey of patients registered on the triage manager database was used to explore their perceptions, concerns and general satisfaction with the telehealth service via a 4 point likert scale questionnaire. The data of 48 patients were collected and telehealth reduced the number of both A&E and hospital admission due to all causes by 13% (P¼0.42) and 22% (P¼0.048), respectively. When only the events directly related to the patient’s diagnosed condition were considered, a reduction by 36% (P¼0.03) and 28% (P¼0.02) was recorded for A&E visits and hospital admission respectively. 27 patients consented to participate in the survey. Overall, patients were very satisfied with telehealth services. Patients agreed that telehealth had improved their health, it was a convenient form of health care delivery for them and they were more involved in the decisions about their care or treatment. In addition, since being on telehealth, patients’ confidence in managing their health increased from somewhat confident to confident. Telehealth, when provided as a service within a standard care pathway, seems to decrease hospital admissions and A&E visits. Good patient satisfaction suggests that the current service is accepted and it could be further expanded to include a larger number of patients.

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