Is telemedicine an answer to reducing 30-day readmission rates post-acute myocardial infarction?

Eyal Ben-Assa*, Yacov Shacham, Michal Golovner, Nomi Malov, Eran Leshem-Rubinow, Avivit Zatelman, Ayelet Oren Shamir, Ori Rogowski, Arie Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients hospitalized for an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are at risk for early readmission. Readmission rates in the community reportedly reach approximately 20%, and 30-day readmission rates have become a quality-of-care marker. Telemedicine is one strategy for improving clinical outcomes by offering real-time biometrics tracking and rapid intervention. We retrospectively assessed the 30-day readmission rate of post-AMI members of a telemedicine system. Materials and Methods: All "SHL"-Telemedicine subscribers who sustained an AMI and those who became subscribers within 10 days from discharge post-AMI between 2009 and 2012 were assessed. Their files were reviewed for demographics, coronary risk factors, reasons for readmission, and discharge diagnoses. Results: In total, 897 suitable patients (mean age, 62±14 years; 81% males) were included. They had made 3,318 calls to the monitor center for consultation. A mobile intensive care unit was dispatched for 158 patients, 64 were transported to the hospital, and 52 (5.8%) were readmitted (10 patients were readmitted twice). Thirty-five readmissions were for noncardiac reasons. Twelve patients had acute coronary syndrome (11 were revascularized). Readmission rates were higher in patients with repeat AMIs (11.9% versus 5.3% among those with no AMI history) and in females (9.6% versus 4.9% among males). Unlike published figures for the general population, there were no significant differences between readmitted and non-readmitted patients regarding diabetes, hypertension, or congestive heart failure. Conclusions: Telemedicine technology shows considerable promise for reducing 30-day readmission rates of post-AMI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-821
Number of pages6
JournalTelemedicine Journal and e-Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • acute myocardial infarction
  • readmission
  • telemedicine


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