Study Finds Similiar Adverse Event Rates Among In-Home And Remote Physician Visits

Although the recent expansion of remote care is commonly seen as advantageous for patients and providers, concerns persist regarding its advantages over traditional in-home care methods. However, while evaluating the effects of various forms of physician visits, a study released in JAMA Network Open discovered that the advantages of in-home physician visits and those connected to remote physician visits were comparable. 

For the study, researchers at an academic medical facility examined information from 172 adult patients who needed hospital-level care for a variety of ailments, including infection, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. The entire set of data for the study was acquired between August 3, 2019, and March 26, 2020. The frequency of adverse events, such as accidents and injuries, was researched and used as the major unit of measurement by researchers to quantify and compare the outcomes related with in-home and remote care. With a noninferiority scale of 10 occurrences per 100 patients, the number of adverse events was calculated using Poisson regression. Furthermore, the researchers assessed 30-day readmission rates in addition to the findings of the Picker Patient Experience Questionnaire 15 as a secondary measurement. The average age of the patients was 69.3 years. Approximately 56 percent of them were female were White and roughly 24 percent were single. 84 of the 172 study’s participants acquired care remotely, while 88 received in-home medical treatment. 

The study found that, with a difference of 2.8 and a mean adjusted adverse event count of 6.8 per 100 patients for remote care patients compared to 3.9 per 100 patients for control patients, noninferiority was supported. The mean modified Picker Patient Experience Questionnaire 15 score difference between remote care patients and controls was 0.22, demonstrating noninferiority. The difference in the mean adjusted 30-day readmission absolute rate was 2.28%, which was not statistically significant.16 of the patients in the remote group needed further home visits after the initial visit.

The researchers determined that the study’s results reinforce the assertion that remote care is comparable to physician visits made in the patient’s home. “Given the home hospital model’s prior evidence base and newer data to suggest its role during COVID-19, expansion is important”, the study concluded. “Remote physician care may be a tool to significantly bolster a physician’s reach and efficiency when providing acute care, wherever a patient may be—at home, in the hospital, or elsewhere.