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Telemed J E Health. 2004 Spring;10(1):45-52.

Telehomecare: a comparison of three Canadian models.

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The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The delivery of health care is often segmented into sectors. In Canada, hospital care has traditionally been distinct from community care, and thus the transition of patients across sectors has been challenging. This paper focuses on the systematic development of an integrated model of care for children, for the purpose of smoothing the transition from hospital to home. The new service model uses emerging telecommunications technology to link hospital care providers to patients at home and is termed "telehomecare" (THC). Independent models of THC were developed for three sites across Canada through semistructured interviews and focus groups. Participants included health care providers and administrators from the hospital and community, and patient families. The resulting models were compared using content analysis to determine whether there was a core model of THC that was generalisable across Canada. A core model of THC was identified that includes the use of videoconferencing to enable the integration of hospital- and community-based care to support patients during the initial stages of the transition to home. Each site also articulated unique characteristics in their service model that were related to the nature of their health care delivery system and patient population. This paper describes the core model of transitional care, presents a synopsis of each of the three models, and compares the models. THC provides opportunities to address limitations in the current system and to improve upon equity of access to quality care for children making the transition from hospital to home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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