Patients with serious diseases, such as heart conditions, rely heavily on their healthcare providers to protect their health. Today, monitoring patients from afar using IT tools is becoming a more popular practice. Long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers looking after elderly patients with various medical conditions can speak with long-term care consultants in regards to implementing telemonitoring services.
Research presented at the 2012 American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions reports that patients receiving telemonitoring and high blood pressure management support show a better outcome and are more likely to decrease their blood pressure as compared to patients without such support.
Healthcare IT News interviewed Dr. Karen Margolis, the study's lead author, on this research and the telemonitoring system of care. A total of 450 patients with high blood pressure were studied, in which half were part of the experimental group and the other half were in the control group.
The control group consisted of traditional medical care provided by primary care physicians. The patients under the new healthcare program visited a primary care doctor and also received extra telemonitoring support and high blood pressure management provided by a pharmacist. These patients monitored their blood pressure remotely from their residences and sent the information electronically through a secure website.
"Patients with high blood pressure visit physicians an average of four times each year, yet blood pressure is controlled in only about half of U.S. patients," Margolis told the news source. "We looked at how the addition of a pharmacist-led, at-home telemonitoring program might improve patients' blood pressure control."
Healthcare providers, such as hospitals and medical practices looking to implement telemonitoring to improve patient care, should consider speaking to a nurse consultant with expertise in healthcare IT consulting.