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Home > Connecting people with multimorbidity to interprofessional teams using telemedicine.

Pariser, Pauline and Pham, Thuy-Nga Tia and Brown, Judith B and Stewart, Moira and Charles, Jocelyn . (2019) Connecting people with multimorbidity to interprofessional teams using telemedicine. Annals of Family Medicine, 17 (Suppl 1 S57–S62) doi: 10.1370/afm.2379


PURPOSE: Most models for managing chronic disease focus on single diseases. Managing patients with multimorbidity is an increasing challenge in family medicine. We evaluated the feasibility of a novel approach to caring for patients with multimorbidity, performing a case study of TIP-Telemedicine IMPACT (Interprofessional Model of Practice for Aging and Complex Treatments) Plus-a 1-time interprofessional consultation with primary care physicians (PCPs) and their patients in Toronto, Canada.

METHODS: We assessed feasibility of the TIP model from the number of referrals from PCPs and emergency departments in Toronto, Canada; the intervention cost; and the satisfaction of patients, PCPs, and team members with the new model. One patient and PCP story highlights the model's impact. We also performed thematic analysis of written feedback.

RESULTS: A total of 76 patients were referred from 53 PCPs and 4 emergency departments, and 65 PCPs participated in TIP. All 74 patient survey respondents indicated TIP improved their access to interdisciplinary resources, and 97% reported feeling hopeful their conditions would improve as a result. Of 21 PCP survey respondents, 100% reported they would use TIP again, and 90% reported improved confidence in managing their patient's care. Of 87 team member survey respondents, 97% rated TIP as effective. Qualitative findings indicated benefits to both patients and health professionals. The cost was about 22% less than that of a 1-day hospital admission through the emergency department (C$854 vs C$1,088).

CONCLUSIONS: TIP is a feasible intervention in multiple primary care settings that gives patients an active role in their health management, supported by their team. The model effectively addresses the needs of the most complex patients and their PCPs.

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