Maugeri Centre for Telehealth and Telecare: A real-life integrated experience in chronic patients

Simonetta Scalvini, Palmira Bernocchi, Emanuela Zanelli, Laura Comini, Michele Vitacca, Maugeri Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (MCTT)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Management of chronic diseases in a progressively aging population is a major issue in western industrialized countries and telehealth is one way to ensure the continuity of care in chronic illness. We describe here our personal experience in a telehealth and telecare centre in Italy. Between January 2000 and December 2015, 1635 elderly patients (71% male) with one or more comorbidities have undergone a telehealth program tailored to their specific disease: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/chronic respiratory insufficiency; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/neuromuscular diseases; chronic heart failure (CHF); post-stroke; and post-cardiac surgery patients discharged from hospital after an acute event. COPD and CHF represent the majority of patients treated (accounting for 80%). Interventions performed by the nurse tutor account for 39-82% of all activities in the five different programs. Specialist second opinion represents 12-27% of the health staff activities. Previously reported results show a reduction of the re-hospitalization rate and costs, and increase in quality of life and patient satisfaction with the service. A multidisciplinary telehealth and telecare integrated approach can provide efficient management for the growing number of complex patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357633X17710827
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Telemedicine
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic Disease
Heart Failure
Neuromuscular Diseases
Continuity of Patient Care
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Patient Satisfaction
Developed Countries
Respiratory Insufficiency
Italy
Thoracic Surgery
Comorbidity
Hospitalization
Referral and Consultation
Stroke
Nurses
Quality of Life
Costs and Cost Analysis
Health

Keywords

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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AU - Bernocchi, Palmira

AU - Zanelli, Emanuela

AU - Comini, Laura

AU - Vitacca, Michele

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AB - Management of chronic diseases in a progressively aging population is a major issue in western industrialized countries and telehealth is one way to ensure the continuity of care in chronic illness. We describe here our personal experience in a telehealth and telecare centre in Italy. Between January 2000 and December 2015, 1635 elderly patients (71% male) with one or more comorbidities have undergone a telehealth program tailored to their specific disease: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/chronic respiratory insufficiency; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/neuromuscular diseases; chronic heart failure (CHF); post-stroke; and post-cardiac surgery patients discharged from hospital after an acute event. COPD and CHF represent the majority of patients treated (accounting for 80%). Interventions performed by the nurse tutor account for 39-82% of all activities in the five different programs. Specialist second opinion represents 12-27% of the health staff activities. Previously reported results show a reduction of the re-hospitalization rate and costs, and increase in quality of life and patient satisfaction with the service. A multidisciplinary telehealth and telecare integrated approach can provide efficient management for the growing number of complex patients.

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