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Supporting Heart Failure Patient Transitions From Acute to Community Care With Home Telemonitoring Technology: A Protocol for a Provincial Randomized Controlled Trial (TEC4Home).

Supporting Heart Failure Patient Transitions From Acute to Community Care With Home Telemonitoring Technology: A Protocol for a Provincial Randomized Controlled Trial (TEC4Home).
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JMIR research protocols 2016 12 185(4) e198
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Seniors with chronic diseases such as heart failure have complex care needs. They are vulnerable to their condition deteriorating and, without timely intervention, may require multiple emergency department visits and/or repeated hospitalizations. Upon discharge, the transition from the emergency department to home can be a vulnerable time for recovering patients with disruptions in the continuity of care. Remote monitoring of heart failure patients using home telemonitoring, coupled with clear communication protocols between health care professionals, can be effective in increasing the safety and quality of care for seniors with heart failure discharged from the emergency department.

OBJECTIVE
The aim of the Telehealth for Emergency-Community Continuity of Care Connectivity via Home Telemonitoring (TEC4Home) study is to generate evidence through a programmatic evaluation and a clinical trial to determine how home telemonitoring may improve care and increase patient safety during the transition of care and determine how it is best implemented to support patients with heart failure within this context.

METHODS
This 4-year project consists of 3 studies to comprehensively evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of TEC4Home. Study 1 is a feasibility study with 90 patients recruited from 2 emergency department sites to test implementation and evaluation procedures. Findings from the feasibility study will be used to refine protocols for the larger trial. Study 2 is a cluster randomized controlled trial that will include 30 emergency department sites and 900 patients across British Columbia. The primary outcome of the randomized controlled trial will be emergency department revisits and hospital readmission rates. Secondary outcomes include health care resource utilization/costs, communication between members of the care team, and patient quality of life. Study 3 will run concurrently to study 2 and test the effectiveness of predictive analytic software to detect patient deterioration sooner.

RESULTS
It is hypothesized that TEC4Home will be a cost-effective strategy to decrease 90-day emergency department revisits and hospital admission rates and improve comfort and quality of life for seniors with heart failure. The results from this project will also help establish an innovation pathway for rapid and rigorous introduction of innovation into the health system.

CONCLUSIONS
While there is some evidence about the effectiveness of home telemonitoring for some patients and conditions, the TEC4Home project will be one of the first protocols that implements and evaluates the technology for patients with heart failure as they transition from the emergency department to home care. The results from this research are expected to inform the full scale and spread of the home monitoring approach throughout British Columbia and Canada and to other chronic diseases.

CLINICALTRIAL
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02821065; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02821065 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6ml2iwKax).

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