UPMC Sees Improved Readmission Rates From Telemedicine

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Telemedicine has improved care delivery and efficiency at Pittsburgh-based UPMC, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The health system has increased the number of telemedicine patient visits from about 6,700 in 2012 to about 10,000 in 2013, a 49 percent increase. The shift has improved efficiency in the system and allowed improved access to clinicians. Additionally, a video-based home monitoring program helped drop hospital readmissions among patients with congestive heart failure to just 5 percent from 28 percent, according to the report.

"The model is really exciting because it means patients don't have to go to the emergency room," Andrew Watson, MD, surgeon and medical director of UPMC's Center for Connected Medicine, told the Business Times. "Most important, for a system like UPMC, this is a care coordination tool, an access to healthcare tool."

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