‘They loved knowing that someone was watching over them’
PHILADELPHIA – Temple University Hospital has expanded a remote monitoring program that has helped it manage COPD and lung transplant patients in their homes to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients.
As one of the largest lung centers in the U.S., Temple University Hospital treats more than 4,000 patients from all over the country.
“We have a lot more options to offer these patients than their local medical center may have,” said Abhi Rastogi, associate hospital director of the Temple Lung Center. “Our biggest challenge was how to manage these patients when they go home, which, in some cases, could be as much as 100 or 1,000 miles away.”
Working with health care technology company HGE Health, Temple University Hospital launched the remote monitoring program about four years ago with 70 COPD patients. While the majority of those patients had historically been non-compliant with their medications, the provider found compliance rates skyrocketed to 80% after the monitoring program was integrated into their care plans.
Building on that success, Temple expanded the program to lung transplant recipients the following year, and added IPF patients last month.
“The patients said they loved knowing that someone was watching over them,” Rastogi said. “They’re telling us now that they are not afraid to be away from the hospital because they know someone will contact them if their condition deviates from their baseline.”
The program incorporates HGE’s telehealth platform and a mobile app. Patients use the app to answer a series of questions each day that give clinicians insight into their condition. If a patient appears to be deviating from their baseline based on the answers to their questions, the hospital intervenes.
“By providing adjustments to the treatment plan based on a change in symptoms, we have the opportunity to improve respiratory symptoms in patients and perhaps compliance with their medications,” Rastogi said. “A telehealth-based disease management program for patients has the promise to improve their quality of life, as well as clinical outcomes.”