Virtual care with remote monitoring reduces patients’ pain, drug errors: study

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Patients who were monitored at home after surgery had less pain reports and a higher incidence of medication errors

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According to researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, patients monitored after non-elective surgery showed significant reduction in pain and detection and correction of medication errors.

National Study, published this week in British Medical Journal (BMJ), Analyzed the outcomes of post-surgical patients who received care virtually and through remote automated monitoring (RAM). Care included video calls with doctors and nurses and the use of wearable devices for self-monitoring of vital signs.

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The study also looked at the impact of virtual care and automated monitoring on reducing hospital burden.

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“We began the study in the first months of the pandemic, when hospitals were challenged to reduce non-emergency care,” said PJ Devereaux, a senior scientist at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) and a professor and director of the department. said. Perioperative Care at McMaster University, a university said News release.

“Our study provides proof of concept that virtual care with RAM can improve outcomes after discharge after non-elective surgery — outcomes that are important for patients,” said Devereaux, co-principal investigator of the study. and also cardiologists and perioperative care physicians in Hamilton. Health Sciences, said in the release.

The researchers explained that half of the 905 post-surgery patients at eight sites in Canada were randomly selected to use a cellular tablet and RAM device to collect data at home that was sent back to the health care team. had gone. Patients’ vital organs were measured for a period of 30 days after leaving the hospital, and patients also took photographs of surgical wounds, with access to a physician or nurse at all hours, seven days a week.

The other group received standard care, which included seeing their health care provider in person within 30 days of hospital discharge, and patients were instructed to consult their surgeon about any medication or symptomatic concerns. Notify me. The study authors found that more medication errors were detected and corrected in patients in the virtual care group than in the standard care group (30% versus 6%, respectively) (4% versus 28%), respectively.

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What’s more, fewer patients in the virtual-monitored group had to return to the hospital for care (22% versus 27 percent, respectively) and fewer patients who received virtual care reported pain at time intervals throughout the month, including 14%. There was a shortage. standard care group.

“Frontline nurses have the opportunity to lead the charge in terms of virtual care from hospital to home in collaboration with physicians and allied health partners,” Devereaux said in the release.

The authors also suggested in their analyzes that when a patient received a high level of virtual care and RAM with consistent involvement with their health care provider, there were fewer urgent care center or emergency department visits. However, lower standards of virtual care were not associated with such improvements.

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“The pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential for virtual care, and how healthcare can be transformed,” said Michael McGillian, a PHRI scientist and an associate professor in the McMaster School of Nursing and co-principal investigator of the study. Added in release.

The authors recommend further trials to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of virtual care with RAM.


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