Introduction: Health systems are applying innovative solutions, such as telehealth and home visiting, to reduce unnecessary healthcare utilization, including emergency department (ED) visits. A large paediatric healthcare system implemented a telehealth-enhanced home visiting programme as an extension of primary care services. The purpose of this paper is three-fold: (1) Examine the process of implementation and the intermediate clinical outcomes; (2) Evaluate patient experiences and acceptability of the programme post-implementation; (3) Identify system, clinic and patient factors influencing implementation of the home visiting programme. Methods: Implementation of the telehealth-enhanced home visiting programme occurred from July 2018 to March 2019. Longitudinal electronic health records (EHR) and surveys were triangulated with qualitative data to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of the programme. Results: Of the 948 eligible families, clinical care staff referred 38% of families to the home visiting programme and 49 families (5%) completed the 12-week home visiting programme. Necessary ED utilization significantly increased post-implementation compared with pre-implementation. Families were overall highly satisfied with the programme and its content. Several factors influenced implementation including outer setting (i.e. patient needs and external policy), inner setting (e.g. poor leadership engagement, fully integrated network, and high tension for change), and individual characteristics (e.g. high self-efficacy). Conclusions: Once families were enrolled, the programme was fairly successful in addressing patient outcomes. The programme and visit process was highly regarded by families and the unlicensed healthcare professionals. Future programme recommendations, such as small programmatic changes and major improvements in the clinic, should be implemented before widespread dissemination.
- emergency department utilization
- home visits
- preventative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics