Michael's Story

Michael's Storymichael.jpg

"Without telemonitoring I would be running back and forward to the GPs' surgery all the time."

Background

Using the service, Mr Michael Howard, 71, who has emphysema - a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath - monitors his vital signs using the new technology every morning. The information is monitored centrally and if readings show signs of deterioration to an unacceptable level, Mr Howard's local healthcare professional is alerted.

How has telemonitoring benefitted you?

"Taking my readings is such a simple process but one that gives me huge benefits as it is an early warning system to me and also for the specialist nurses in charge of my care. Without telemonitoring I would be running back and forward to the GPs' surgery all the time to have things checked out." he explained.

"Having my signs monitored by a nurse means any changes in my condition are dealt with immediately and this has prevented me from being admitted to hospital – in the past I've had to spend six days in hospital any time I'm admitted with a chest infection.

"The telemonitoring is not only reassuring for me, it also gives me more control over managing my own condition and as a result I have less upheaval in my life, and I'm less of a cost to the health care system. Most importantly, it gives me peace of mind and one less thing to worry about at my age."

Jean Hamill, Senior Practitioner Nurse said:

Prior to telemonitoring Michael had several hospital admissions. Annual reviews with the practice nurse supported by the GP when his health deteriorated often meant referral to the hospital, accident and emergency or hospital admissions. Since the initiation of the continuing care nursing service for chronic disease management and encouragement with education about the telemonitoring service, Michael made an informed decision with his wife to start the telemonitoring service.

Since commencement of this service there has been a marked decrease in hospitalisation in the last 2 years .The reassurance of telemonitoring and nurse support has facilitated early detection of changes in vital signs and patients symptoms. This type of surveillance has enhanced their confidence with decision making in relation to daily challenges in health, whilst living and caring for a person with a chronic lung condition. Telemonitoring has facilitated both the patient and wife and encouraged them to become experts at recognising warning signs. This provided them with a 'prompt' directing them to either contact the nurse or the GP for 'back up' with further clinical health assessment and medical intervention.