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The impact of telehealth on use of hospital care and mortality: research summary

Author(s)

STEVENTON Adam, BARDSLEY Martin

Publisher(s):

Nuffield Trust

Publication year:

2012

The impact of telehealth on hospital use, patient admission and mortality were evaluated in three trial sites in England. The sites were from the Department of Health’s Whole System Demonstrator pilots. The evaluation focused on the use of telehealth to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart failure. It used a large randomised controlled trial which included over 3,000 participants (1,584 control and 1,570 intervention) in which groups of patients either received the telehealth intervention or acted as controls by receiving their usual care. Statistically significant differences in rates of emergency hospital admission and mortality were found during the twelve months of the trial between control and intervention groups. For intervention patients, the overall costs of hospital care (including emergency admissions, elective admissions and outpatient attendances) were £188 per patient less than those for controls. However, this cost difference was not statistically significant. As well as summarising the main findings the research summary highlights the limitations of the research and other issues that need to be considered in relation to the findings. (Original abstract)


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