Hospital based telehealth encompasses the stages of patients’ access to hospital based care, including initial triage, admission evaluation, hospital stay and post-discharge.  Hospital based telehealth can be used to leverage limited resources or provide increased access to specialty care.  These services can take place in the Emergency department, inpatient or at the patient’s home.

TeleEmergency and Older Adults

Emergency medicine use and older adults –

In the US, between 2007 and 2017, the number of adults over the age of 60 increased by 36%. During 2014–2017, 20% of all emergency department (ED) visits in the United States were made by patients aged 60 and over, representing an annual average of approximately 29 million ED visits (1,2). Given their growing proportion of the population, older individuals will make up an increasingly larger share of ED visits in the coming years. As the population continues to age, finding more effective ways to manage emergency medical treatment is crucial. Since 2014, the rate of ED visits is on average 66 visits per 100 persons for adults over 60years old and increases to 86 visits per 100 persons aged 90 and over (2). 

Some of the most common reasons for older adults visiting the ED include chest pain, pneumonia, stroke, dehydration, mental status changes and complications due to diabetes. (Need confirmation and source)

Tele emergency and older adults –

Emergency telehealth can be described as patient care for acute illness or exacerbation of chronic illness through video or telephone.  This can include evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and care coordination.(3) Applications where emergency telehealth may be most beneficial for older adults include:

  • Tele-Triage- In busier or more urban areas, tele-triage can be used to screen patients remotely to determine care needed and help decrease overcrowding and more efficiently treat patients in EDs, as well as and support patients in long term care, potentially avoiding unnecessary ED visits.
  • Tele-Emergency Care – Patients of smaller and more remote hospitals can benefit from havingaccess to specialist care typically unavailable in these settings through telehealth.
  • Facilitating Goals of Care discussions – Through telehealth, specially trained practitioners can conduct Goals of Care discussions in the ED.(4)

TeleEmergency Toolkit

  1. Products – Data Briefs – Number 434 – March 2022 (,
  2. Products – Data Briefs – Number 367 – June 2020 (
  3. Defining emergency telehealth – Neal Sikka, Hartmut Gross, Aditi U Joshi, Edward Shaheen, Michael J Baker, Adam Ash, Judd E Hollander, Dickson S Cheung, Alexander R Chiu, Charles B Wessel, Marcus Robinson, Gregory Lowry, Francis Xavier Guyette, 2021 (
  4. Introduction to telehealth practices for emergency departments |