Alan's Story

Alan's StoryAlan_-_stock_image.jpg

"Telemonitoring has really helped me understand a lot more about my condition."

Background

Forty-four year old Warringstown resident Alan Cummings suffered a stroke in 2011 and had telemonitoring installed into his home during his recovery. Alan is a Track and Trend patient, managed by practitioner Mary McParland.

The Telemonitoring NI Service offers two distinct types of telemonitoring, which are used depending on the individual patient’s needs and circumstances; Triage, where the patient is monitored daily by the TF3 Clinical Triage Team, and Track and Trend, where vital signs data is collected over time and reviewed on a regular basis by a healthcare professional as part of ongoing care plans.

Alan’s monitoring falls under the Track and Trend monitoring category. Track and Trend patients take their vital signs readings at a frequency determined by their healthcare professional/nurse, in Alan’s case each day, and these are uploaded to the monitoring centre on a regular basis. Alan’s practitioner Mary McParland can then review the information collated from her computer to determine how his condition may best be managed.

Alan will only be contacted by a triage nurse he doesn’t take his readings, takes partial readings or if there is a technical fault with the equipment. Otherwise, his Mary will continue to access his readings, using the information to help her clinical decision making and contacting Alan as required.

How did you first hear about telemonitoring and what were your first thoughts?

I first heard about telemonitoring through my practitioner Mary, she explained what is was and how it worked. I was happy to have it fitted into my home as I thought it would help with my recovery. I don’t have much knowledge about taking readings, I was a really active person before my stroke and didn’t even know I had high blood pressure.

It’s so easy to use, I take my readings every evening between 5pm and 8pm and it only takes five minutes. All the information gets sent through automatically so it’s not complicated in any way.

How has telemonitoring benefitted you?

Telemonitoring has really helped me understand a lot more about my condition. Seeing it working everyday, I now know what my readings should or shouldn’t be. My GP practice is 20 miles away and so it’s great being able to take my readings at home instead of going to the doctors all the time.

I can take my readings at any time so it doesn’t restrict me in any way, I never feel rushed or pressured. Mary checks my readings every week so I know someone is keeping an eye on me. Also when I visit my doctor for checkups they look at my readings from the last four weeks and make decisions about my medications based on that.

What would you say to other patients who were considering telemonitoring?

I think telemonitoring is great. Without it, I would probably still be messing around with my medications. I feel its helped speed up my recovery and get the right medications for me, at the right time. I would definitely recommend it.

Mary McParland, Practitioner said:

I think telemonitoring is the future of healthcare, I think it’s much better for patients to be taking their readings at home in a comfortable environment. This ensures that the readings are taken when the situation is best, when they are relaxed in their own home.

For practitioners like me, it cuts down on a lot of travel and I am able to make better decisions about their care through trends and patterns in their readings. In Alan’s case we were able to titrate his medication where appropriate and this has enabled a good recovery post stroke.

Photo posed by model.