The Effects of Telehealth on 30 Day Readmission Rates in Cancer Patients

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Technology has been the backbone of medicine since the beginning and its prevalence in medicine today is far reaching and wide spread. Due to research and ingenuity, medical breakthroughs via technology may be credited for many of the life saving techniques used in medicine today. Likewise, technology may also be credited with much of the expense of healthcare, including the growing baby boomer population and their chronic conditions. Of interest, telehealth has been an impetus for research over the last decade due to its promise of increasing efficiencies, quality of care, and decreasing cost. In spite of this research, one of the most expensive of chronic condition, cancer, is severally lacking in the literature regarding telehealth. Further, policy makers have identified 30 day readmission rates as a way to measure quality in healthcare and payers have started decreasing payments for readmissions. A review of the literature regarding telehealth and 30 day readmission rates, as well as the design of a clinical trial to study the effect of telehealth on 30 day readmission rates in cancer patients will be explored. Statement of the Problem According to Mariotto, Yabroff, Shao, Feuer, and Brown (2011), the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is projected to cost the United Sates an estimated 157.77 billion per year by 2020, and prostate and breast cancer is anticipated to comprise a significant portion of the cost. Generally, the treatment of cancer includes many follow up appointments over a span of five or more years, and the use of telehealth with videoconferencing is of interest because it has the “ability to create and maintain a therapeutic relationship and yet provide access and quality care to a patient in a remote geograph... ... middle of paper ... ... Anglin, S. (2006). Success factors for telehealth—a case study. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 75(10), 755-763. Prinz, L., Cramer, M., & Englund, A. (2008). Telehealth: A policy analysis for quality, impact on patient outcomes, and political feasibility. Nursing outlook, 56(4), 152-158. Schlachta-Fairchild, L. (2001). Telehealth: a new venue for health care delivery. In Seminars in oncology nursing (Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 34-40). WB Saunders. Sorrells-Jones, J., Tschirch, P., & Liong, M. A. S. (2006). Nursing and telehealth: Opportunities for nurse leaders to shape the future. Nurse Leader, 4(5), 42-58. Walsh, M., & Coleman, J. R. (2005). Trials and tribulations: a small pilot telehealth home care program for medicare patients. Geriatric Nursing, 26(6), 343-346.
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