Schooling Program for Patients for Better Quality of Life

In the federal republic 200.000 people every year suffer from cardiac insufficiency. And the demographic development make it become more and more. To solve the clinical and economical problem as a result, the telemedicine is a good chance.

Telemonitoring-programmes are built up that the chronic ill persons can be controlled at home permanently and do not have to go to hospital. All datas of the patients includes that the needed therapy can be measured, led and controlled individually. The patients transport their datas like weight, blood-pressure and oxygen saturation from home to a telemedical centre via telephone. The advantages are obvious: The patients are situated in a familiar surrounding and the medical costs can be lowered.

On this perceptions the training scheme „Telemedizin fürs Herz“ of a big German health insurance in cooperation with the „Deutsche Stiftung für Chronisch Kranke“ is build up. They create a telemedicine training- and careprogramm for currently 413 patients that are afflicted with cardiac insuifficiency. It should help the patients to act independent with their disease. The idea to this program occured out of the disadvantages that telemedicine brings along. A risk that is not to underevaluate is the excessive demand of the patients alone at home with their disease. The own physical health is misjudged. The consequence is an immediate visit to the doctor or the hospital although it would not be necessary. The patients get insecure, the medical costs are not avoided and the economic advantage that is promised with telemedicine is obsolete.

The program is built up, that the patients with cardiac insufficiency being measured and led from doctors in the period of 27 month. In the first period which lasts six months the telemedical support starts in coordination with the doctor. Above that the patients get information about health attitudes. In the second periode which last three months the patients learn to evaluate and pass their medical assets on their own. In the third and last period the disease is held for a long term in the lowest possible stadium and learned things being fixed. „Instead of providing the attendends with an enduring monitoring from afar the people develop a feeling of security within their patient-empowerment above the end of the program. They are encouraged to measure weight, blood-pressure and pulse rate independent and to document it”, explains Jörg Pelleter of the Stiftung für chronisch Kranke.

The aim is to give security to the patients that they can accomplish to measure blood-pressure, weight and pulse-rate on their own and transfer it. Conclusion is ideally a higher quality of life and lowering the hospitalisation rate. „Next to the reduction of mortality, an approvement of life quality and an optimation of medication the reduction of the hospitalisation rate is the major quantifiable aim of the program“, underlines Pelleter.

If the health situation of the patient changes the attendants and the doctor get to know about that fact. The doctor could compile the right medication and therapy for the patient. Proceedings within the care program would hold on through regular bill of health.

If the program fullfills all of the requested aims is not measurable yet. The first intermediate result declines that 8.5 percent of the 413 attendent persons do not have to go to hospital again. The rate of mortality (2.8 percent) is also very low in comparison to other comparable programs without any schooling. How secure the patients because of the program really feel is not measured yet. The definitive analysis of the program will come in the middle of 2008.