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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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Florida-Puerto Rico Veterans Sunshine Healthcare Network, USA.


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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