Telehealth Consultations Might Improve Some Patient Outcomes

Issue 662
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
April 30, 2019

AHRQ Stats: Hospitalizations for Depressive Disorders

In 2016, one in four hospitalizations for mental and substance use disorders was for depressive disorders. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #249: Inpatient Stays Involving Mental and Substance Use Disorders, 2016.)

Today's Headlines:

Telehealth Consultations Might Improve Some Patient Outcomes

Patient outcomes generally improved in some areas of care when clinicians consulted other providers remotely for additional medical expertise, known as telehealth, according to an AHRQ-funded report. The authors found that when telehealth consultation was used, patients were more likely to survive in intensive care, spent less time in the emergency room waiting for a specialist and were more likely to survive a heart attack. Evidence was not as strong for the impact of telehealth consultations on length of hospitalizations and inpatient costs; outcomes and number of patient transfers in emergency care; and costs and number of patient visits in outpatient care. The authors noted that more research is needed on consultation costs, outcomes data and harms. Access the report

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web). 

Funding Applications Due May 25 and June 5 for Research Projects on Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance

AHRQ is seeking innovative research proposals for preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (CARB). Funding applications are due May 25 for demonstration and dissemination projects (R18) and on June 5 for large research projects (R01). HAI projects in both grant categories should demonstrate new ways to detect, prevent and reduce HAIs. CARB projects should address ways to promote appropriate antibiotic use, reduce the transmission of resistant bacteria or prevent HAIs. To learn more, access "Research Funding Available" on AHRQ's Healthcare-Associated Infections Program page. 

Topic Nominations for Future Evidence Reports Due June 7

AHRQ’s Evidence–based Practice Center (EPC) Program is seeking ideas for future evidence reports to address challenging questions in healthcare decision-making. The EPC Program reviews and summarizes the available evidence on current healthcare issues. Its comprehensive reports help clinicians and policymakers understand the benefits and harms of different tests and treatments; inform health systems and policymakers about the best options for implementing a new program or intervention; and help patients make better decisions about their healthcare options. Topic nominations for the coming year are due June 7. Suggest a topic and access more information about the nomination process. Send questions to

Featured Impact Case Study: Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Uses AHRQ-Funded System for Safe Care Transitions

Pediatric residents at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore follow the AHRQ-supported care transition process called I-PASS. I-PASS is a standardized communications procedure that has been proven to enhance patients’ coordination of care during shift changes among the medical staff. Access the Impact Case Study

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Psychometric evaluation of the youth eating disorder examination questionnaire in children with overweight or obesity. Kass AE, Theim Hurst K, Kolko RP, et al. Int J Eat Disord 2017 Jul;50(7):776-80. Epub 2017 Feb 15. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mobile critical care recovery program (m-CCRP) for acute respiratory failure survivors: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Khan S, Biju A, Wang S, et al. Trials 2018 Feb 7;19(1):94. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

How does autoimmune disease impact treatment and outcomes among patients with lung cancer? A national SEER-Medicare analysis. Khan SA, Pruitt SL, Xuan L, et al. Lung Cancer 2018 Jan;115:97-102. Epub 2017 Nov 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Impact of new medications and $4 generic programs on overactive bladder treatment among older adults in the United States, 2000-2015. Kinlaw AC, Jonsson Funk M, Conover MM, et al. Med Care 2018 Feb;56(2):162-70. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

"Best case/worst case": training surgeons to use a novel communication tool for high-risk acute surgical problems. Kruser JM, Taylor LJ, Campbell TC, et al. J Pain Symptom Manage 2017 Apr;53(4):711-19.e5. Epub 2017 Jan 4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Simulating the impact of sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels in three cities. Lee BY, Ferguson MC, Hertenstein DL, et al. Am J Prev Med 2018 Feb;54(2):197-204. Epub 2017 Dec 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Receipt of pain management information preoperatively is associated with improved functional gain after elective total joint arthroplasty. Lemay CA, Lewis CG, Singh JA, et al. J Arthroplasty 2017 Jun;32(6):1763-8. Epub 2017 Jan 26. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Building a better operating room: views from surgery and architecture. Ibrahim AM, Dimick JB, Joseph A. Ann Surg 2017 Jan;265(1):34-6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

For comments or questions about AHRQ News Now, contact Bruce Seeman at or (301) 427-1998.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, email: For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Page last reviewed April 2019
Page originally created April 2019
Internet Citation: Telehealth Consultations Might Improve Some Patient Outcomes. Content last reviewed April 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
Back To Top