The American College of Cardiology's Cardiovascular Summit will feature several poster presentations on the increased role of telehealth in cardiovascular care since the COVID-19 pandemic. Research examines the importance of cardiovascular clinics implementing a standardized telehealth framework that improves patient access to care, as well as the efficiency and long-term benefits of home-based cardiac rehabilitation for improving physical capacity in heart disease patients.
Summaries of embargoed abstracts are below.
Implementation of a standardized telehealth framework to improve access to cardiology care
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large, multi-site cardiovascular practice in Jacksonville, Florida, adopted an array of virtual tools to meet the needs of their patients. The practice instituted a quality improvement project to implement a single, structured, patient-centered and efficient telehealth service that launched in June 2022. They conducted data analysis from March 2020 to December 2022. From March 18, 2022 to June 25, 2022 the practice averaged 87 telehealth visits per month. From June 27, 2022 to December 30, 2022, following implementation of a structured cardiology telehealth framework, there were 276 telehealth visits per month. Since July 2022 they have sustained over 250 telehealth appointments per month. Overall, telehealth visits increased by 217%, showing increased patient access to cardiology providers.
Efficiency of home-based cardiac telerehabilitation in improving physical capacity and reduction of dependence on social disability benefits under pension prevention program in covid-19 pandemic
The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation are well-known in assisting cardiovascular disease patients in regaining strength, health and quality of life following a cardiac event. In Warsaw, Poland, during the COVID-19 pandemic a group of cardiologists, nurses, physiotherapists and other members of the care team created a 24 working day ambulatory treatment protocol for complex hybrid cardiac telerehabilitation in order to improve physical capacity for heart disease patients. The protocol included cardiac consultations, electrocardiograms (ECG), transthoracic echocardiograms, exercise tests, ECG Holter monitoring, 10 days of ambulatory training, education and psychotherapy, followed by home-based cardiac telemonitored Nordic Walking training. The study included 58 ambulatory cardiovascular disease patients referred in 2020 for cardiac rehabilitation. Following the program, significant improvement was seen in functional capacity. In September 2022, 64% of patients had returned to work compared to only 12% at the beginning of the program.
The ACC's Cardiovascular Summit 2023 takes place Feb. 16-18 in Washington. For access to the full abstracts or to register for media access to the conference, contact Katie Glenn at [email protected]