Encounter Appropriateness Score for You Model: Development and Pilot Implementation of a Predictive Model to Identify Visits Appropriate for Telehealth in Rheumatology

Mary Solomon, Ricardo Henao, Nicoleta Economau-Zavlanos, Isaac Smith, Bhargav Adagarla, A. J. Overton, Catherine Howe, Jayanth Doss, Megan Clowse, David L. Leverenz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We aimed to develop a decision-making tool to predict telehealth appropriateness for future rheumatology visits and expand telehealth care access. Methods: The model was developed using the Encounter Appropriateness Score for You (EASY) and electronic health record data at a single academic rheumatology practice from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. The EASY model is a logistic regression model that includes encounter characteristics, patient sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and provider characteristics. The goal of pilot implementation was to determine if model recommendations align with provider preferences and influence telehealth scheduling. Four providers were presented with future encounters that the model identified as candidates for a change in encounter modality (true changes), along with an equal number of artificial (false) recommendations. Providers and patients could accept or reject proposed changes. Results: The model performs well, with an area under the curve from 0.831 to 0.855 in 21,679 encounters across multiple validation sets. Covariates that contributed most to model performance were provider preference for and frequency of telehealth encounters. Other significant contributors included encounter characteristics (current scheduled encounter modality) and patient factors (age, Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 scores, diagnoses, and medications). The pilot included 201 encounters. Providers were more likely to agree with true versus artificial recommendations (Cohen's κ = 0.45, P < 0.001), and the model increased the number of appropriate telehealth visits. Conclusion: The EASY model accurately identifies future visits that are appropriate for telehealth. This tool can support shared decision-making between patients and providers in deciding the most appropriate follow-up encounter modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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