Telemonitoring devices keeping patients in their own homes
09/04/2014Over 1000 people living in the Southern Trust area are monitoring their own vital signs to avoid hospital admission.
Using special ‘tele-monitoring’ equipment, people with chronic conditions like heart failure, respiratory disease, diabetes and stroke are able to check their pulse, blood pressure, body weight, temperature and oxygen levels at home on a daily basis.
The readings are sent by a telephone line or a mobile signal to a Nursing Team who monitor the information and alert the patient’s Health Care Professional if necessary.
77 year old John Williamson from Dungannon is a Heart Failure patient who until last year was regularly admitted to hospital with his condition. To help manage his condition, John was introduced to tele-monitoring by the Trust’s Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, Edith Donnelly.
Edith says: “Tele-monitoring is a great tool in helping us to look after patients in their own homes. By weighing himself daily, I can monitor John’s readings to see if we need to adjust his fluid medications. In fact, John himself has now become much more aware of his symptoms so is able to identify much more quickly if his condition has deteriorated. This allows us to immediately address an issue if it does arise and I am delighted to say has helped us to prevent a hospital admission for John in over a year now.”
John said: “Tele-monitoring has definitely helped to keep me out of hospital and improve my quality of life. The equipment is easy to use and gives me the reassurance that I am being monitored each day. I have learned much more about my condition and am able to recognise triggers so I can contact Edith right away.”
Director of Older People and Primary Care for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Angela McVeigh said: “One of the priorities of Transforming Your Care is to prevent hospital admissions and keep people in their own homes where possible. Whilst helping people to become ‘expert patients’ in their own care, tele-monitoring gives staff more timely and accurate information, allowing them to intervene before their condition deteriorates too severely. This helps to avoid repeat attendances at clinics, visits to the GP or unnecessary hospital admissions, giving the patient greater independence and improving their quality of life.”
John Williamson from Dungannon with Heart Failure Nurse Specialist Edith Donnelly