Heart / holding medical concept
Written by Sherry Martin, Telehealth Coordinator, Virtual Health

We are participating in a research study, TEC4Home, to evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of using home health monitoring to support people transitioning from acute care to their home.

Heart failure is a major cause of morbidity with one of the highest emergency department visit and hospital re-admission rates in Canada. One in four people with heart failure are re-admitted to hospital within one month of being discharged from their initial stay, and four in 10 are re-admitted within three months.

Home health monitoring (HHM) uses remote patient monitoring technology to enable patients with severe chronic diseases or conditions to monitor their blood pressure and other health factors from the comfort of their homes and share this information electronically with their physicians and other health care providers. To evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of using HHM to support people transitioning from acute care to their home, Fraser Health is participating in TEC4Home.

TEC4Home is a provincial research study led by UBC, in partnership with Fraser Health, the Ministry of Health, Cardiac Services of BC, UBC Department of Medicine, Vancouver Coastal Health, Interior Health, Providence Health Care, Division of Family Practice and TELUS Health. The project is one of the largest clinical trials in Canada to study the efficacy of HHM. The primary outcomes of the study are to decrease emergency department revisits, lower re-admission rates, and improve the quality of life and safety of people transitioning between acute and community care.

Phase one of the four-year research study consisted of a 12 month-feasibility study at Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital. It was completed in October 2017 and demonstrated encouraging results in reducing emergency department re-visits, re-admissions, and length of stay, and also improving quality of life and confidence in self-management. Preparations for phase two, a randomized controlled trial are underway, with patient recruitment to commence in mid-2018.

Fraser Health, a key partner, is expected to enroll up to 500 patients over 18 months from seven hospital sites. This trial will further evaluate the effectiveness of home health monitoring for heart failure patients. It will also provide clear, comparative evidence to indicate the difference home health monitoring can make in the health outcomes of people with heart failure.

Stay tuned for more information and updates from the Virtual Care team as this project progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact virtualcare@fraserhealth.ca

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