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Telemed J E Health. 2015 Mar;21(3):157-62. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2014.0093. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Program evaluation of remote heart failure monitoring: healthcare utilization analysis in a rural regional medical center.

Author information

  • 11 National Cancer Institute , National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Remote monitoring for heart failure (HF) has had mixed and heterogeneous effects across studies, necessitating further evaluation of remote monitoring systems within specific healthcare systems and their patient populations. "Care Beyond Walls and Wires," a wireless remote monitoring program to facilitate patient and care team co-management of HF patients, served by a rural regional medical center, provided the opportunity to evaluate the effects of this program on healthcare utilization.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Fifty HF patients admitted to Flagstaff Medical Center (Flagstaff, AZ) participated in the project. Many of these patients lived in underserved and rural communities, including Native American reservations. Enrolled patients received mobile, broadband-enabled remote monitoring devices. A matched cohort was identified for comparison.

RESULTS:

HF patients enrolled in this program showed substantial and statistically significant reductions in healthcare utilization during the 6 months following enrollment, and these reductions were significantly greater compared with those who declined to participate but not when compared with a matched cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings from this project indicate that a remote HF monitoring program can be successfully implemented in a rural, underserved area. Reductions in healthcare utilization were observed among program participants, but reductions were also observed among a matched cohort, illustrating the need for rigorous assessment of the effects of HF remote monitoring programs in healthcare systems.

KEYWORDS:

cardiology/cardiovascular; home health monitoring; mobile health; telecardiology; telemedicine

PMID:
25025239
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC4365431
Free PMC Article
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