Telehealth Integration to Promote Patient Self-Care Behaviors in Older Adults
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Telehealth Integration to Promote Patient Self-Care Behaviors in Older Adults

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Background: The healthcare demands on our current healthcare system will be increasing in the years to come as the older adult population rises. Many of these older adults will have chronic health conditions that will need to be followed and managed. The burden on healthcare calls for patients to have a more active role and responsibility in managing their own health conditions. A team-based digital approach that promotes patient involvement is integral in the future management of these patients.Methods: This project was part of larger parent project regarding telehealth integration for older adults in an academic medical center in California. The purpose of this project was to determine if the integration of a telehealth program in healthcare institutions and the use of home monitoring devices affected self-care behaviors in older adult participants in managing their chronic health conditions. The study analyzed quantitative data collected in electronic health records (EHR) and qualitative data conducted through participant surveys. Results: 9 participants were successful for utilizing the home blood pressure device daily over the two-month course. 15 out of the 20 participants (75%) utilized the home blood pressure device daily for greater than 80% of the two-month course. Of the 11 participants who were given home weight scales, three participants utilized the scale for 100% of the days out of the two-month course. Six participants (54.5%) utilized the scale for more than 80% of the two-month course. The impact of telehealth integration on self-care behaviors was also examined through the data collection of the number of telemedicine visits occurring in the three months prior to the onboarding of participants into the program, during the program, and three months after participants were offboarded from the program. The use of telemedicine did not show any significance when comparing the number of telemedicine appointments attended before, during, and after the program. The survey responses from the participants yielded two overall encompassing themes: 1) increased personal healthcare engagement, and 2) improved empowerment and self-management. Conclusion: This results of the project demonstrated the importance for early support when implementing future telehealth programs in healthcare institutions. The education and consistent support provided by healthcare professionals to individuals in the older adult population was key to achieving optimal participation in self-care behaviors. The APRN has the high-level ability to impart knowledge and meaning to individuals to be motivated and active participants in their own healthcare management.

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This item is under embargo until June 2, 2025.