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J Healthc Qual. 2004 Nov-Dec;26(6):12-5, 24.

Emerging technology for at-risk chronically ill veterans.

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  • 1Florida-Puerto Rico Veterans Sunshine Healthcare Network, USA. mary.huddleston@med.va.gov


Patients are exposed to iatrogenic injury when hospitalized. In the Tech Care Coordination Program, older veterans with chronic diseases and high healthcare utilization were followed with an in-home technology device, the Health Buddy, and risk management software. Program staff could identify at-risk patients based on their responses to a series of questions about symptoms, behavior, and knowledge. Patients followed in the program for at least 6 months experienced a 45% decrease in hospital admissions, 67% decrease in nursing home admissions, 54% decrease in emergency room visits, and 38% decrease in pharmacy prescriptions. The patients also demonstrated improved compliance with treatment regimens and both patients and providers reported high levels of program satisfaction.

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