Program expands to help more heart and lung patients stay at home
More Islanders living with congestive heart failure or chronic lung disease are being safely monitored from the comfort of their home using special equipment and modern technology.
Health PEI recently expanded the Remote Patient Monitoring program to increase its capacity from 30 patients to 45 thanks to a partnership with Canada Health Infoway and an investment of $285,000.
“Investing in emerging health care technology and collaborating with health care providers to offer services in a way that is most convenient to Islanders, such as their home, is making a real difference for patients,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell.
“The Remote Patient Monitoring program is an excellent example of an initiative that is improving patient outcomes while allowing Islanders with serious conditions to remain at home,” added Mitchell.
The program initially focused on supporting Islanders living with congestive heart failure when it was introduced in 2015. Last year, it was expanded to include Islanders living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“Remote Patient Monitoring has meant better outcomes and a better quality of life for Islanders living with congestive heart failure or COPD.” said Anita MacKenzie, Health PEI’s acting director of primary care and chronic disease. “Emergency department visits by program patients have decreased, those living with congestive heart failure or COPD live more active and healthy lives, and they are able to better manage their disease.”
With Remote Patient Monitoring patients have been able to return home sooner and be monitored by trained nurses with physician support.
Since the program began, hospital admission rates for individuals with congestive heart failure have decreased by 80 per cent, and total length of stay for those admitted has decreased by 73 per cent. More importantly, the program has allowed staff to proactively respond to changes in a patient’s condition before it requires a hospital visit – emergency department visits have since decreased by 45 per cent.
Islanders diagnosed with heart failure or COPD can self refer to the program by calling 1-844-402-6700 (toll-free) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unsure if the program is right for you, contact your primary care provider to see if you qualify.
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In Prince Edward Island, it is estimated that about 1,200 people each year experience an acute cardiac event and more than 700 live with chronic lung disease.
The Remote Patient Monitoring program aligns with Health PEI’s strategic goal of improved access to primary care and community-based specialized care programs for chronic and complex patients.
Since 2007, there have been over 800 patient admissions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for congestive heart failure. On average, patients with congestive heart failure stay in hospital 11 days – four days longer than most other Canadian jurisdictions. Through the support of the Remote Patient Monitoring program, these patients have been able to return to their home sooner and be monitored by trained nurses with physician support.
A December 2017 evaluation compared patient data in the six months prior to participating in the Remote Patient Monitoring program with the data from the six months after they completed the program and found improved outcomes, including:
- 45% decrease in emergency department visits
- 80% decrease in the number of hospital admissions
- 73% decreased in the total length of stay in hospital days
- 90% of all program participants find that the program allows them to better manage their health and better understand their chronic disease
- 97% percent of participants would recommend the program to others with similar medical problems