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Congest Heart Fail. 2000 May-Jun;6(3):140-145.

The feasibility of a telecommunications service in support of outpatient congestive heart failure care in a diverse patient population.

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University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110.


A home telemonitoring system for patients with congestive heart failure was studied for feasibility and efficacy in a diverse patient population. Fifty patients used the service, in which they weighed themselves and answered yes/no questions about symptoms. Changes in patient weights or symptoms prompted a nurse to call the patient and/or the physician. Patients were given educational and quality of life surveys at enrollment, at 30 days, and at 6 months. The average daily usage rate was 94%. Patients were contacted 57 times--prompting 57 physician notifications, eight medication changes, and 11 nonroutine clinic visits. Patient response to lifestyle surveys showed an improvement in quality of life and improved understanding of prevention measures. Eighty-four percent of patients and 65% of physicians reported satisfaction with the system. This pilot study suggests that home telemonitoring is feasible and has clinical utility in diverse patient groups, and may improve patients' satisfaction and knowledge of self-care.

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