Off-Site Cardiac Telemetry May Reduce Cardiac Events

A dedicated off-site monitoring team is less likely to become distracted and miss irregularities.

Findings from a recent study suggest that standardized cardiac telemetry with an off-site monitoring unit can decrease the risk of adverse cardiovascular events.

Researchers found that this is linked to detection and notification of cardiac rhythm and heart rate changes 1 hour before emergency response team activations, according to a study published in JAMA. The use of an off-site central monitoring unit (CMU) can reduce noise distractions from the hospital, centralize staffing, and create standard protocols.

In the study, patients received non-intensive care unit (ICU) cardiac rhythm monitoring for 13 months. The monitoring can also provide blood pressure, pulse oximetry, and respiratory rate.

The CMU received electronic telemetry orders for 98,048 patients and created 410,534 notifications. For 3243 patients, emergency response teams (ERTs) were activated and the CMU provided accurate notifications for 79% of events.

The CMU was also able to provide ERTs with an update of the patient’s condition, and elicited clinical intervention among 105 patients. It was able to warn ERTs about cardiopulmonary arrests.

Researchers found that the monitoring was linked to a 15.5% weekly reduction in non-ICU monitored patients, compared with the previous 13 months.

“These data demonstrate that integrating a CMU and an ERT team is feasible, which is particularly important for hospital systems with dedicated emergency response teams in which operational and capital costs permit scalability,” the researchers concluded. “Once the required resources are in place, the CMU can extend its operability to hospitals that are widely geographically separated while interfacing directly with site-specific ERTs. Future work and technological innovation are needed to further improve efficiency and reduce costs.”