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Telemed J E Health. 2005 Feb;11(1):90-7.

An empirical chart analysis of the suitability of telemedicine for hospice visits.

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Center for TeleMedicine and TeleHealth, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.


Telehospice (TH) utilizes telemedicine technology to provide care at the end of life. A bistate project was launched in 1998 to study the use of home-based telemedicine for routine hospice care. Videophones were deployed for telenursing visits and evaluations by social workers. In order to determine what proportion of home hospice visits could be performed using currently available telemedicine technology, we reviewed clinical records retrospectively for hospice nurse home visits. Clinical notes documenting home nursing visits were obtained from two large hospices, one based in Kansas, and the other in Michigan. Records were randomly selected for patients who received hospice nurse visits during the month of January 2000. The charts were reviewed for patient demographic information, patient assessments, teaching activities, and interventions. Five hundred ninety-seven nursing notes were analyzed using an 85-item coding instrument. After careful review of the records, the coders also made a subjective observation regarding the suitability of each visit for telemedicine. As part of this analysis, we found that 64.5% of home hospice nursing visits could be performed by telemedicine. Using TH, it is possible to reduce the number of in-person visits, thereby significantly decreasing the cost of providing hospice care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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