Integrating care coordination home telehealth and home based primary care in rural Oklahoma: a pilot study

Kristen H Sorocco, Kristi L Bratkovich, Rita Wingo, Saleem M Qureshi, Patrick J Mason
Psychological Services 2013, 10 (3): 350-2
The purpose of this program was to evaluate the benefits of integrating VA Care Coordination Home Telehealth and Telemental health within HBPC. A case study design was used to determine quality assurance and quality improvement of incorporating additional home telehealth equipment within Home Based Primary Care (HBPC). Veterans with complex medical conditions and their caregivers living in rural Oklahoma were enrolled. Veterans received the same care other HBPC patients received with the addition of home telehealth equipment. Members from the interdisciplinary treatment team were certified to use the telehealth equipment. Veterans and their caregivers were trained on use of the equipment in their homes. Standard HBPC program measures were used to assess the program success. Assessments from all disciplines on the HBPC team were at baseline, 3, and 6 months, and participants provided satisfaction and interview data to assess the benefits of integrating technology into standard care delivery within an HBPC program. Six veterans were enrolled (mean age = 72 yrs) with a range of physical health conditions including: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular accident, spinal cord injury, diabetes, hypertension, and syncope. Primary mental health conditions included depression, dementia, anxiety, and PTSD. Scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination ranged from 18 to 30. Over a 6-month period, case studies indicated improvements in strength, social functioning, decreased caregiver burden, and compliance with treatment plan. This integration of CCHT and HBPC served previously underserved rural veterans having complex medical conditions and appears both feasible and clinically beneficial to veterans and their caregivers.

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