[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly, 20(3)]
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure are responsible for significant healthcare costs in Ontario. One program developed to improve the management of these conditions is Telehomecare, which provides six months of health status monitoring and patient self-management education at no cost to participating COPD and heart failure patients. The Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN; formerly the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre), an early participant, enrolled over 3,000 Telehomecare patients between 2012 and 2016. Research shows that the program reduces emergency department visits and hospital admissions, improves patient confidence and self-management skills and is associated with high patient satisfaction. Program improvements and expansion are ongoing.
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