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J Telemed Telecare. 2004;10(2):113-7.

A pilot study of nurse-led, home-based telecardiology for patients with chronic heart failure.

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Fondazione S Maugeri, Divisione di Cardiologia, Instituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Gussago, Brescia, Italy.


We assessed the feasibility of home-based telecardiology for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Seventy-four CHF patients were enrolled into a programme of telephone follow-up and single-lead electrocardiography (ECG) monitoring. The patients transmitted their ECG data by fixed telephone line to a receiving station, where a nurse was available for an interactive teleconsultation. Patients were followed up for a mean (SD) of 307 (108) days; 1467 calls were analysed (213 ad hoc consultations and 1254 scheduled consultations). A total of 124 cardiovascular events were recorded. Modifications to therapy were suggested in response to 119 calls; hospital admissions were suggested for 13 patients, further investigations for 7 and a consultation with the patient's general practitioner for 13. No action was taken after 1330 calls. Twenty-two ECG abnormalities were recorded. In 63 patients receiving the beta-blocker carvedilol, the mean dosage increased from 36 to 42 mg. In the previous year there were 1.8 hospitalizations per patient, while in the follow-up period there were 0.2 hospitalizations per patient. Following up CHF patients using a nurse-led telecardiology programme seems to be feasible and useful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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