Follow up Pacemaker care. Remote Monitoring - does it work for you?
Here in the UK, some hospitals still only provide home monitors to patients with a serious heart condition or dangerous arrhythmia that requires close surveillance. If a pacemaker patient is stable, they might only receive a routine in person annual check instead.
Fortunately, most of us today have some form of home monitoring which when working well can certainly help to save time, money and give our doctors early warning of a deteriorating heart condition or of a pacemaker malfunction.
Does home monitoring give you reassurance that nothing important will be missed between hospital visits?
Do you know what your health care authority or hospital policy is with regard to who should receive face to face pacemaker checks and who will receive remote checks annually or even perhaps less frequently?
Introducing home monitoring, without adequate follow up and explanation of how it actually works can be stressful for patients, particularly vulnerable, elderly patients who may struggle with new technology. In the absence of face to face appointments, I know many members feel that they have been abandoned and that if something bad happened they would be strictly on their own. To be told “if you hear nothing back from us following a transmission, you can assume that all is well” is hardly reassuring, especially if a patient is experiencing symptoms. Some members don’t receive notification for example when their monitors are not transmitting data, due perhaps to their extended absence on holiday (!) without advising their clinic, or due to a faulty monitor. Either way, it doesn’t inspire confidence, does it?
Unfortunately not all elderly patients can confidently set up and manage monitoring equipment or always notice when things go wrong, particularly in the absence of regular face to face appointments when they can be fully assessed by a clinician.
Recently I have seen some concerning remarks from members about their difficulties with home monitoring and I thought it would be helpful to discuss this important subject again. I know many members would like to know how to better manage this part of their care. Any comments, suggestions, advice on what you have found helpful, will be welcome, although I fully appreciate monitoring care will be different depending where we live and how our health care is managed, paid for? Thank you all
You know you're wired when...
Trade secrets can be smuggled inside your device.
It becomes a part of your body just like any other part.