Telehealth Can Reduce Patient Mortality Risk, U.K. Study Finds

The use of telehealth technology can reduce patient mortality rates by 45%, according to a study by the United Kingdom's Department of Health, Becker's Hospital Review reports. Study Details The findings are based on results from the U.K. Department of Health's Whole System Demonstrator program, which launched in 2008 to examine the use of telehealth services for individuals with chronic conditions (Rodak, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/6). The study followed about 6,000 patients with diabetes, coronary heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 238 health care practices in the U.K. over a two-year period. The study evaluated: Cost effectiveness; How organizational factors influenced telehealth adoption; Outcomes, such as quality of life; Use of services; and User and professionals' experience (Mearian, Computerworld, 12/7). Study Results According to the study, using remote monitoring technology can lead to: A 20% reduction in emergency admissions; A 15% reduction in emergency department visits; A 14% reduction in elective admissions; and A 14% reduction in bed days. The study noted, "Going forward, this evidence gives us confidence that we can transform the way services are delivered and ensure that we use appropriate technology to put people at the [center], and in control" (Hitchcock, London Guardian, 12/6).