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TELE-TOC: Telehealth Education Leveraging Electronic Transitions Of Care for COPD Patients - Resubmission - 1

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PROJECT ABSTRACT Transitions of Care (TOC) for high-risk, frequently hospitalized adults with chronic diseases are complex, costly, and vulnerable to safety threats and poor health outcomes. Communication breakdowns, information lapses, and IT-induced unintended consequences can result in poor follow-up and medication non-adherence, both of which contribute to preventable readmissions or emergency room (ER) visits. The Transitional Care Model (TCM) aims to reduce such risks through a holistic, collaborative, patient-centered approach with in-home interventions. Prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), most in- home interventions relied on in-person visits, which can be cost-prohibitive and unsustainable. One potential sustainable and scalable solution is to use telehealth for in-home virtual visits; however, use of telehealth for post-discharge TOC interventions has not been routinely implemented. In the post-COVID-19 era, given the rapid expansion of telehealth, hospitals are well-positioned to initiate this virtual care. In-home virtual visits may be particularly promising for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who are often hospitalized, have multiple comorbidities, and require intensive medication teaching due to rampant inhaler misuse. COPD affects more than 16 million US adults, many of whom are older, contribute ~$50 billion to healthcare costs annually, experience high rates of acute care revisits, often due to care coordination failures. For this reason, Medicare?s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) aims to incentivize hospitals to implement TOC programs for increased quality and value of care for COPD patients. However, currently, such programs fall short of aligning with the full TCM. In-home interventions may be particularly salient for improving medication skills and outcomes for patients with COPD given rampant inhaler misuses, the effectiveness of in- hospital inhaler education, and evidence showing the need for inhaler education reinforcement post discharge. Thus, our trans-disciplinary team proposes to implement and evaluate ?TELE-TOC: Telehealth Education: Leveraging Electronic Transitions Of Care for COPD patients,? which seeks to integrate virtual, pharmacy-based, in-home visits for COPD patients within our hospital?s existing COPD HRRP. Our central hypotheses are that virtual visits with pharmacists will be feasible to implement and will result in improved medication use and outcomes among COPD patients at high risk for readmission. We aim to iteratively design TELE-TOC using participatory study design and stakeholder input. We will then test the effectiveness of adding TELE-TOC virtual visits in a randomized controlled trial among COPD patients enrolled in our HRRP program. Lastly, we will develop a plan for a dissemination strategy and roadmap with national stakeholders to facilitate widescale adoption of TELE-TOC nationwide.

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