Emergency Medical Technician-Facilitated Telehealth Visits: A New Model to Expand Home-Based Primary Care for Homebound Seniors
August 7, 2020
Authors: Karen A. Abrashkin1, A. Camille McBride1, Jill C. Slaboda 2, Michael Kurliand 2, Amparo Abel-Bey 1, Atika Turkistani 1, Kayla Finuf 1, Renee Pekmazaris 1
Affiliations: 1Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, NY, USA; 2West Health, La Jolla, CA, USA
Objective: As the number of older adults living in the United States grows, the gap between the capacity of home-based primary care (HBPC) services and the community demand will continue to widen. Older adults, living longer with mobility difficulties and multiple chronic medical conditions, often prefer to age in place, and new models of care are needed to meet this need. This article provides a framework for an innovative emergency medical technician (EMT)-facilitated telehealth program, the mobile telemedicine technician (MTT) program, which aims to increase access to medical care and efficiency within an HBPC program.
Design: A descriptive framework outlining the deployment of an innovative telehealth model.
Setting: An HBPC program serving homebound seniors in downstate New York.
Participants: Homebound individuals enrolled in an HBPC program with advanced age (over half >90 years), 67% with 5–6 activities of daily living (ADL) dependencies, and high rates of dementia, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes requiring evaluation and treatment of acute conditions.
Interventions: HBPC program enrollees requiring evaluation and treatment of acute conditions received a home visit from a telehealth-enabled EMT who has received additional training to provide in-home care. Following an evaluation, the EMT facilitated a telehealth visit via a two-way video conference between the patient and the primary care physician.
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