Remote monitoring program helps keep Islanders at home, out of hospital
It didn’t take long for Island physician Dr. Shannon Curtis to notice how a new remote-monitoring program helped one of her patients with congestive heart failure take more control of her own illness.
Since it was introduced in November 2015, the Remote Patient Monitoring program has allowed 45 Islanders to return home from the hospital sooner with the help of daily monitoring and trained program nurses. The new technology can also reduce emergency department visits and hospital stays and increase patient satisfaction and quality of life.
“This program helped to encourage my patient to become educated on heart failure and more proactive in her own health care,” Dr. Curtis said. “It also was very helpful for me to have regular updates from the program, so that I could stay involved in her day-to-day management.”
Patients in the 12-week program use program-provided equipment to take their vitals daily – weight, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen levels –and send them electronically to the program nurse. The nurse provides education and self-management support and can make adjustments to the care plan if needed in collaboration with the physician or nurse practitioner.
“Islanders generally prefer to be home rather than sitting in a hospital bed,” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said. “Remote patient monitoring allows Islanders suffering from chronic diseases to manage their conditions at home with less disruption to their daily lives – providing them with the right care, in the right place.
There have been more than 800 patient admissions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for congestive heart failure since 2007. These patients stay an average of 11 days in hospital – four days longer than most other Canadian jurisdictions.
Remote patient monitoring programs are becoming more common across Canada, supporting individuals living with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Funding to establish the Remote Patient Monitoring program for congestive heart failure on Prince Edward Island was provided through a partnership with Canada Health Infoway.
Senior Communications Officer