Remote Patient Monitering in Residential Care Homes: Using Wireless and Broadband Networks

Remote Patient Monitering in Residential Care Homes: Using Wireless and Broadband Networks

Tanja Bratan (Brunel University, UK), Malcolm Clarke (Brunel University, UK), Joanna Fursse (Brunel University, UK) and Russell Jones (Chorleywood Health Centre, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-851-2.ch038
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Abstract

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is undergoing great reform. Driven by a demand for higher quality health care provision, information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly being used as tools to realize this change. We have investigated the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM), using wireless and broadband networks, in three community care homes between July 2003 and January 2006. The aim of the project was to determine for what conditions and in which setting the RPM was most useful and to establish an organizational and clinical infrastructure to support it. Evaluation of the project demonstrated clinical benefits such as the early detection of cardiac events, allowing prompt intervention and routine monitoring of other conditions. A change in work practices resulted in a more collaborative approach to patient management and led to an increase in communication between health care professionals from different sectors, as well as the establishment of protocols for seeking advice. Technically, the equipment largely met the users’ needs. In conclusion, the monitoring proved a useful tool for the management of chronic diseases and has great potential to contribute to the reform of the NHS.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wireless Network: A computer network that is not connected by wires but by radio frequencies.

Chronic Disease: A disease that lasts for a long time (at least three months) and cannot be prevented or cured.

E-Health: The use of emerging information and communication technology, especially the Internet, to improve or enable health and health care, thereby enabling stronger and more effective connections among patients, doctors, hospitals, payers, laboratories, pharmacies, and suppliers.

NHS: The UK’s National Health Service.

ICTs: Information and communications technology, a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information.

Remote Patient Monitoring: The monitoring of physiological measurements in a setting other than a hospital, using ICTs to transfer data over geographical distances.

Community Care Home: Facility in which residential and sometimes nursing care is provided to disabled or elderly people.

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