Telemonitoring Cuts Costs and Improves Outcomes for Congestive Heart Failure Patients in New Jersey

Technological congestive heart failure disease management for the elderly

Valley Home Care, a subsidiary of Valley Health System in Bergen County, N.J., used telemonitoring from 2001 through 2003 to provide "virtual" home health services to older Passaic and Bergen County patients with congestive heart failure and hypertension.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Health Initiatives national program.

Key Results:

  • Through the Teleheart program, Valley Home Care provided telemonitoring home health visits for 122 older patients with congestive heart failure and 18 older patients with hypertension.
  • It trained nine nurses in telemonitoring and incorporated the Teleheart program into its home health program.
  • It incorporated telemonitoring into the Valley Home Care home health program. All home care patients now receive telemonitoring unless they have an incompatible phone line or do not have a caregiver to assist them with the telemonitoring equipment.

Key Assessment Findings: Project staff collected data on hospitalizations and quality of life before and after implementation of the Teleheart program. During the six months after patients joined Teleheart compared with the six months before program participation:

  • Hospitalizations decreased by 73 percent.
  • Hospital days decreased by 78 percent.
  • Emergency room visits decreased by 88 percent.

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