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READMISSIONS: “Virtual ward” not proved beneficial in trial

The virtual ward model of providing post-discharge care was not found to be beneficial in reducing hospital inpatient readmission or death in a clinical trial conducted in Toronto, Canada.  Patients randomized to the virtual ward were considered to be at high risk for readmission, and were provided services such as telephone calls, home visits, and clinic visits.  Their care plan was coordinated by daily meetings of an interprofessional team.  Patients in the virtual care program did not have statistically significant differences in their outcomes compared to patients who received usual types care after discharge from the hospital.  The authors conclude that no argument can be made in support of investing resources in the operation of a virtual ward program.

Source: Dhalla, I.A., and others. (2014, Oct. 1). Effect of a postdischarge virtual ward on readmission or death for high-risk patients: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 312(13), 1305-1312. Retrieved from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1910109 Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

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