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Dr Donal Bailey

CEO, Care-Connect

Dr Fiona Kiernan

Chief Economist, Care-Connect

Remote monitoring and virtual nurse support can help patients with heart failure (HF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) improve their daily lives and, critically, avoid preventable visits to the hospital.

Today, at least 90,000 people in Ireland live with HF and 380,000 live with COPD, according to The Cost of Heart Failure in Ireland report and COPD Support Ireland. With constant remote monitoring, supported by technology and managed by a team of nurses, patients with cardiac and respiratory conditions can live with more support and swift access to care.  

Convenient, remote patient health monitoring  

For years, clinical guidelines have recommended regular monitoring of certain signs (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate and body weight), as they are invaluable for managing heart failure. By giving patients the tools to measure these signs at home, they can send valuable information to a clinical team that can monitor and assist in managing their condition more effectively.  

At Care-Connect, that allows us to see trends and indicators of deterioration in the patient’s condition earlier — often before symptoms start. This model of care helps people stay well at home and can reduce visits to the emergency department or lengthy hospital admissions.  

With technology, we can track our results
with clarity, so we can identify opportunities
to improve care quickly and efficiently.

Evidence-based care approaches  

We aim to provide the best evidence-based care possible. For years, we have been investigating how remote care can impact patient outcomes by reviewing international best practices and conducting detailed research.  

We team up with GPs and hospital specialists to best support people with HF and COPD. We aim to implement guideline-directed standards of care as efficiently as possible. With technology, we can track our results with clarity, so we can identify opportunities to improve care quickly and efficiently. This can increase the potential for an individual’s chronic condition to be clinically managed early.  

Toward better health outcomes for patients 

Many patients with HF or COPD can achieve improved outcomes and symptom control by following a structured team approach to their medication and treatment plan. Specifically, for patients with HF, optimising their medications promptly after diagnosis lowers their risk of subsequent hospital admission. However, researchers have reported that it is challenging to achieve this for patients with long-term conditions, partly because there are so many interactions to navigate — each carrying a risk of slight delay.  

A large part of Care-Connect’s role is to work with our patients and their doctors to coordinate everyone’s treatment plan to be as efficient as possible. We can then collaboratively reduce the risk of avoidable complications while providing a supported and positive experience to our patients.

Care-Connect is a new healthcare provider established in partnership between Irish Life Health and Centric Health.

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