Telemedicine is being widely practised in the current era for the improvement of patient outcomes. They can provide 24/7 remote monitoring services and specific education programmes for physicians. Telemedicine might also help to optimise patient care.
Researchers conducted a study to assess the difference in the management of telemedicine alerts on weekdays and public holidays, i.e. (the relation between the weekday of alert transmission and the subsequent patient contact). In that study, about 505 patients were enrolled. The mean age was 66.1 ± 10.1. Most of the participants were male (77.2%). The average left ventricular ejection fraction was 26.7% ± 6.1%. According to the weekday of the transmission, fluid index threshold crossing alerts were analysed. In weekday transmissions, Mondays-Thursdays were categorized as TD1 and Fridays-Sundays as including the public holidays as TD2.
Among 1365 transmitted alerts, TD1 were about 867 (63.5%) and 498 (36.5%) TD2s. Same day telephone contact frequency was?less in TD2 (18.3%;?p?< 0.001) than TD1 (46.2%). Accordingly, the median time to contact was less in TD1 compared with TD2 (0(0-3) vs 2(1-3) days;?p?< 0.001).? There is no difference between rates of no telephone contact between the groups (12.1% vs 12.4%;?p?= 0.866).
Signs of worsening cardiac failure were prevalent in 32.4% in TD1 versus 32.1% in TD2 (p?= 0.996) but the initiation of a pharmacological intervention occurred more likely in TD1 compared with TD2 (27.9% vs 22.9%;?p?= 0.041). There was no difference in hospitalization for heart failure within 30 days after alert transmission (3.9% vs 3.4%;?p?= 0.636).
The authors in the study conclude that alert transmissions during weekdays were more likely associated with timely patient contacts and initiation of pharmacological interventions than during the weekends and public holidays.