Opening a window of opportunity through technology and coordination: a multisite case study

Telemed J E Health. Fall 2003;9(3):265-71. doi: 10.1089/153056203322502650.


The Community Care Coordination Service (CCCS) program was implemented in April, 2000, at the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 8). The goals of the CCCS were to improve the coordination of care for clinically complex patients, referred to as veterans, and to increase their access to care while reducing complications, hospital admissions, and emergency room (ER) visits. This program used a coordinated care approach, a process whereby veterans were followed throughout the continuum of care. The information presented in this case study is specific to three medical centers that implemented the CCCS: Ft. Myers, Lake City, and Miami. Analysis of utilization and clinical impact were conducted after 18 months. Inpatient admissions were reduced by 46% at Ft. Myers, 68% at Lake City, and 13% at Miami. ER encounters were reduced by 19% at Ft. Myers, 70% at Lake City, and 15% at Miami. Reductions in bed days were demonstrated at Ft. Myers (29%) and Lake City (71%). In Miami, there was a 13% increase in the number of bed days of care for the patients after 1 year in the program. In addition to these changes in health-care utilization, quality of life was significantly improved as evidenced by increases in the four of the eight components scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form health survey for veterans (SF36V) at Lake City and Ft. Myers. In the CCCS model of care using home telehealth technology, the Care Coordinators bridged the gap between office visits by providing a daily connection between the coordinators and the patients. This daily communication made it possible for problems to be identified early and interventions implemented before problems escalated.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Veterans / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Patient Care Management / organization & administration
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Telemedicine / economics
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemetry / economics
  • Telemetry / methods