How Wireless Telemetry Helps Patients and Healthcare Workers
Due to the widespread prevalence of cardiovascular conditions, resulting from an increasingly aging population, the healthcare industry is catching on to the many benefits of using wireless telemetry. In fact, mobile cardiac telemetry systems (also known as MCT) are rapidly becoming one of the most popular medical telemetry devices in the industry. The global MCT market, estimated at nearly $1 billion in 2022, is expected to grow at a 12.1% CAGR to reach 2.3 billion by 2030.
By now, most medical device purchasers understand that MCT devices have impressive diagnostic capabilities, especially regarding heart rhythm disorders. And it’s well-known that MCT allows dedicated teams to monitor multiple patients at once, freeing up time and headspace for bedside nurses so they can focus on caring for patients.
But there are many other ways that MCT positively impacts both patients and hospital teams. Read on for a discussion of some of the other important reasons HTM decision-makers should consider expanding their organization’s wireless telemetry profile.
Wireless telemetry protects bedridden patients from immobility complications
Health complications associated with immobility have been linked to decreased quality of life and poor health outcomes, including mortality, in bedridden patients. These conditions also contribute to significant increases in healthcare costs.
Because MCT allows people, including some ICU patients, to sit, stand, or move around, it helps reduce the chance of secondary health issues caused by lying in bed for a prolonged time.
Complications from bed rest include:
- Pressure ulcer
- Urinary tract infection
- Healthcare-related infections
- Loss of muscle
- Muscle contractures
- Respiratory problems
- Blood clots
- Depression and anxiety
A British study reveals that early post-surgical physiotherapy interventions help patients avoid hospital-acquired pneumonia. MCT makes early mobility possible for post-op patients and others who require heart monitoring but can safely move and perform physical therapy exercises.
Mobile telemetry helps combat patient depression
A literature review conducted by researchers at Cedars-Sinai found that one-third of all hospitalized patients experience depression symptoms. The study showed that depressed patients were less likely to take their medications and more likely to miss follow-up appointments. The research linked depression to longer recovery times, more extended hospital stays, and a higher chance of re-hospitalization.
This is particularly true for cardiac patients. Substantial evidence demonstrates that depression is associated with adverse health outcomes for cardiovascular disease. For example, depression is linked to a higher chance of readmission and a greater mortality risk in patients with heart failure. A 2020 study found the relationship between depression and heart disease remained consistent across low, middle, and high-income countries worldwide.
Depression may arise or worsen in bedridden patients due to loss of autonomy, feeling trapped, feeling like a burden, and lacking social interaction, as well as increasing discomfort or pain from new health complications.
MCT offers many hospitalized patients the opportunity to change location, walk for exercise, and take care of their personal needs without assistance. Maintaining mobility makes patients feel less like an invalid and more like their usual selves. Spending time with friends and loved ones becomes easier and more enjoyable when patients can sit up, take a stroll, or enjoy a meal with their visitors.
MCT reduces the workload for clinical staff
Burnout in the healthcare workforce is a serious issue, contributing to 52% of nurses and 20% of doctors reporting plans to exit their clinical practice, according to the American Nurses Foundation and Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Unsurprisingly, advances in mobile ECG devices and their effects on clinician workflows are strong drivers of MCTs increasing popularity.
MCT benefits for nurses
The healthcare industry is currently facing a crisis due to understaffing and extensive burnout in the skilled nursing workforce. While patient monitoring tech might not seem related to these issues, the truth is that administrators should seriously consider any possible steps that can lessen the burden on exhausted nursing staff.
Wires and cords are inconvenient. They get in the way while nurses are trying to perform essential duties. And it’s exhausting to have to unplug patients from bedside machines in order to move them. Transporting frail or seriously ill patients is difficult enough without having to wrangle cords and then ensure everything is reattached properly several times a day.
Less labor intensive than bedside monitoring, and with a smaller footprint, wireless monitors take telemetry out of the equation during patient transport. Eliminating time-consuming issues with cords and complicated setup during a task that nurses perform many times each day really can reduce overall workload and stress.
MCT benefits for providers
Many providers spend almost half of their work hours on EHR and desk work, and some report spending an additional 1-2 hours after work on EHR tasks. This level of administrative burden is a major contributor to physician burnout. Connected medical devices, including telemetry monitors, that integrate with EHR can significantly reduce the amount of time required for manual health data entry.
Furthermore, the latest HIPAA-compliant MCT technology will send continuous monitoring data straight to the provider’s computer or smartphone. This gives the provider fast, easy access to ECG data and an opportunity to respond to any abnormal changes in cardiovascular activity quickly.
Wireless connectivity lets the patient’s entire team, including PCPs, specialists, hospital clinicians, and nurses, stay abreast of the patient’s condition in near real-time. This saves providers time and energy because they don’t have to track down records or worry about staying up to date with the latest updates.
Maximizing the benefits of a wireless telemetry system
These are just a few ways that bolstering MCT supports high-quality hospital care as well as hospital staff. Administrators have many options for expanding their telemetry programs, and much to consider regarding new,refurbished, used, or rental equipment. Taking steps to optimize lifespan and functionality and reduce telemetry asset downtime can help hospitals and health systems maximize the benefits of mobile cardiac telemetry.
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