Telemedicine decreases ED use by senior living residents with dementia: study

August 7, 2019

Use of telemedicine can decrease emergency department use by independent living and assisted living residents for their acute illnesses, according to a study newly published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

The researchers studied residents with dementia who were living in six senior living communities, were under the care of a primary care geriatrics practice and had access to “high-intensity” telemedicine services to diagnose and treat their illnesses. The high-intensity telemedicine program involved assistance from a trained telemedicine facilitator and captured more clinical detail than simple videoconferencing.

The researchers compared those residents’ ED use with the ED use of residents with dementia who were living in 15 other senior living communities in the Northeast but did not have access to the telemedicine services.