Study: 'Virtual' team care approach yields less ER visits for sick elderly

Share this article:
When elderly patients with chronic diseases receive "virtual" care from a team of medical experts, they make fewer trips to the emergency room than patients who do not receive this team care approach, a new study finds.

"Virtual" care involves experts who are linked via phone, fax and e-mail, according to the study by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The study was presented at the American Geriatrics Society's Annual Scientific Meeting on Friday.

Researchers followed higher risk diabetic patients over the course of two years and found that patients in the "Virtual Integrated Practice" program made fewer trips to the ER than those not in the program. The patients also reported better understanding of how to use their medications than those getting standard care. Physicians in the virtual teams reported that they were better informed of their patients' conditions between visits than those who were not part of virtual teams.

For more information about the Virtual Integrated Practice project at Rush, visit: www.rush.edu/professionals/vip.
Share this article:

More in News

House bill would define, promote coordinated long-term care services

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would target improved care coordination for seniors, also adding it under the Older Americans Act.

Skilled nursing facility trends contribute to improved Medicare outlook, Congressional report says

The Medicare trust fund is on track to remain solvent until 2030, trustees of the program stated in a Congressional report released Monday. This improved outlook is due in part to revised expectations about the case mix in skilled nursing facilities.

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

The final countdown has begun: Long-term care providers have less than 48 hours to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted through July 30.