Readiness Assessment for Advanced Practice Provider-Led Telehealth Implementation to Prevent Hospital Readmissions and Unplanned Hospitalizations

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The Ohio State University

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Hospital readmissions and unplanned hospitalizations account for a significant financial burden to the United States (U.S.) healthcare system and are associated with decreased quality of care. Telehealth is a method of care delivery that allows for the provision of certain healthcare services remotely, increasing access to care for patients with barriers to in-person follow up. An exhaustive search, evaluation, and synthesis of the literature clearly demonstrated that the use of telehealth contributes to decreased hospital readmissions and unplanned hospitalizations and that Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are increasingly involved in leading programs designed to improve healthcare with this technology. In the following evidence-based practice project, the author designed and conducted a readiness assessment for the implementation of an APP-Led telehealth program with the goal of preventing hospital readmission and unplanned hospitalization at a large, academic cancer hospital in the Midwest of the U.S. Grounded in the conceptual framework of the Transitional Care Model and guided by the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice, the readiness assessment combined the Practitioner Telehealth Readiness Assessment Tool (PTRAT) with supplemental questions written by the author, to evaluate the readiness of APPs across the organization to engage in the development and implementation of a telehealth program. The results of the assessment revealed significant barriers to readiness among the APPs who participated, particularly pertaining to three barrier domains: patient/family barriers, equipment/infrastructure barriers, and provider knowledge deficiencies. The results were used to inform discussion and plan improvements to the organization's virtual oncology program.