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More heart patients staying out of hospital thanks to telemonitoring

Date:
September 26, 2012
Source:
RCN Publishing Company
Summary:
The use of telemonitoring for cardiac patients is increasing – despite mixed evidence as to how effective it really is.

The use of telemonitoring for cardiac patients is increasing - despite mixed evidence as to how effective it really is.

Remotely monitoring patients' vital signs is a more popular practice in some parts of the UK than others and researchers have called for more studies on its efficacy. But advocates claim it has the potential to enhance patients' quality of life - and save money.

At least 750,000 people in the UK are thought to have heart failure (according to the British Heart Foundation) and their treatment accounts for around 2% of all healthcare costs in the UK.

Numbers are expected to rise, promoting more interest in the ability of telemonitoring to keep people out of hospital, improve clinical outcomes and promote more effective working by healthcare practitioners.

The system works by providing equipment to patients living at home with a diagnosis of heart failure. This usually includes weighing scales, a sphygmomanometer and a central telemonitoring device.

This reminds people to complete their recordings, collates data and asks a series of 'wellbeing' questions such as 'do you feel more breathless than usual today?' The information is sent to a central server. If any of the readings are out of the ordinary the system generates a 'red flag.' A repeat reading may be taken or the patient is contacted by phone.

The rationale is that early detection of any deterioration allows for timely intervention that can prevent hospital admission.

This Nursing Standard article describes how telemonitoring is being used in practice and explores the evidence base for its use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RCN Publishing Company. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Author Atkin P, Barrett D. Benefits of telemonitoring in the care of patients with heart failure. Nursing Standard, September 26 vol 27 no 4 2012

Cite This Page:

RCN Publishing Company. "More heart patients staying out of hospital thanks to telemonitoring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926112714.htm>.
RCN Publishing Company. (2012, September 26). More heart patients staying out of hospital thanks to telemonitoring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926112714.htm
RCN Publishing Company. "More heart patients staying out of hospital thanks to telemonitoring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926112714.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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