Title

Factors affecting provision of successful monitoring in home telehealth

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Wade, R, Shaw, K & Cartwright, CM 2012, 'Factors affecting provision of successful monitoring in home telehealth', Gerontology, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 371-377.

Published version available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000335033

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Aim: To investigate acceptance and usage issues in relation to Telehealth products as used by frail older clients of the Transition Care Program and their carers. Method: The study design was a quasi-randomised controlled clinical trial. A stratified random sample of participants was allocated to one of five groups using a random number table. Study participants who were already in possession of a pendant alarm provided by the study service provider at study commencement, or were assessed as needing a pendant alarm, were allocated to the first number out of 1 (control group), 4 or 5 (home Telehealth monitoring with a pedant alarm up to 12 or 24 weeks) on the random number table list. If they were in possession of a pendant alarm that was not from the study service provider they were automatically allocated to the control group. If they were assessed as not needing a pendant alarm they were allocated to the first number on the list out of 2 or 3 (home Telehealth monitoring up to 12 or 24 weeks). In all instances, when a participant was allocated to the first applicable number on the list, that number was crossed off the list. Results: A total of 43 participants who commenced the study used Teleheath equipment. There was a 13% Telehealth reading failure rate. There was no significant difference between clients with and clients without carers for the reading failure rate. This non-significant difference was consistent across all of the identified reasons for why readings failed including staff not following up, participant non-compliance (with and without carer), equipment failure, participants not returning a call from the staff investigating non-reading and user error. Conclusion: If the health of the client requires high reading rate reliability, the fact that the client has a carer to assist them cannot be assumed to increase the safe usage of the Telehealth equipment for reading rate reliability. As such staff should ensure that they are diligent in monitoring in-home Telehealth regardless of the presence or absence of a carer.