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Home telehealth: patient satisfaction, program functions, and challenges for the care coordinator.

Young LB, Foster L, Silander A, Wakefield BJ. Home telehealth: patient satisfaction, program functions, and challenges for the care coordinator. Journal of gerontological nursing. 2011 Nov 1; 37(11):38-46.

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Home telehealth programs can enhance older adults' access to care, but eliciting accurate information regarding program effectiveness is challenging because patients are reluctant to criticize. This study sought accurate patient perspectives about both benefits and challenges of the Veterans Health Administration's rapidly expanding care coordination/home telehealth program. Patients who completed the standard 8-item satisfaction survey were subsequently interviewed, and the transcripts were content analyzed to identify program functions most salient to patients and program components most challenging for patients. Interviews generally supported patients' high survey ratings but also revealed some challenges that the survey did not capture. Program functions most salient to patients were providing access, educating or instructing, and monitoring or tracking. However, patients were frustrated by equipment problems as well as care coordinator inaccessibility and slow response. Gathering detailed information about patient perceptions of health care delivery is important so challenges can be addressed to meet patients' expectations.

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