BACKGROUND: Our hypothesis was that telehealth in combination with an optimised care program coordinated amongst care professionals in primary, secondary and tertiary care can achieve beneficial outcomes in heart failure. The objective was to evaluate the clinical effects of introduction of telehealth in an optimised care program in a community hospital in the north of the Netherlands.
METHODS: We compared the number of unplanned admissions for heart failure in the year before and after adding telehealth to the optimised care program. Furthermore, blood pressure and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels were evaluated at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 months after telehealth. Quality of life and knowledge about the disease were regularly evaluated via surveys on the telehealth system.
FINDINGS: The number of unplanned admissions for heart failure decreased from on average 1.29 to 0.31 admissions per year after telehealth introduction. Blood pressure decreased independent of medication and NT-proBNP levels improved as well. Quality of life increased during the telehealth intervention and disease knowledge remained high throughout the follow-up period. Unplanned admissions that remained after telehealth introduction could be accurately predicted at baseline by a multivariate regression model.
- Journal Article