The Eastern Health Alliance (EH Alliance) and Changi General Hospital (CGH) have partnered with Philips Healthcare (Philips) to pilot Singapore’s first telehealth programme for heart failure patients in Singapore. The innovative programme integrates three key elements: tele-monitoring, tele-education, and tele-care support via the EH Alliance’s Health Management Unit (HMU) nurse telecarers. These help engage heart failure patients in the care of their health, reduce the risk of hospitalization and premature death.
The initiative builds on an established heart failure programme in CGH (accredited by the Joint Commission International since 2006) and the ongoing heart failure programme by the HMU. Through these efforts, CGH has achieved a lower heart failure mortality rate than international centres.
A tablet, a weighing machine, and a blood pressure monitor are devices used to assist patients in the daily measurement of their weight, pulse and blood pressure.A tablet, a weighing machine, and a blood pressure monitor are devices used to assist patients in the daily measurement of their weight, pulse and blood pressure, which are the three key vital parameters that get automatically uploaded to a central system for monitoring. Educational materials in the form of videos — available in English, Mandarin and Malay — are delivered remotely and are available to the patients on their tablet. The HMU nurse telecarers provide support and monitoring, and can intervene early when signs of deterioration are detected.
40% of Changi General Hospital’s heart failure patients are re-admitted within 12 months. A key reason is not adhering to prescribed treatment plans, such as not taking medication correctly or consistently, not monitoring weight daily, and lapses in the control of water intake and diet. Other reasons include the progress of the disease or infection. The new program hopes to tackle the issue and reduce the number of readmitted patients.