Despite a recent study showing that telemonitoring doesn’t reduce hospitalizations or emergency room visits among older adults, it can increase the effectiveness and safety of medications, according to two other studies.
One study kept tabs on study participants who had uncontrolled hypertension. The participants were divided into two groups. About half received traditional care through their primary care physicians. The other half saw a primary care physician along with using telemonitoring to get support and additional management from a pharmacist.
The telemonitored group was better at lowering blood pressure levels, as 71.8% had lowered their blood pressure to healthy levels six months into the study, researchers found, compared to 45.2% of participants in the “traditional care” group.
Additionally, the systolic blood pressure readings for the patients in the telemonitoring group were 10 points less than in the control group, while their diastolic readings were six points lower.
Those in the telemonitoring group were taking more blood pressure medicines after six months than their control group counterparts, and were more likely to remember to take their medications.
The second study found that when primary care practices had access to a module that prompted patients to review their medications documented in their personal health records, there were less likely to be harmful medication discrepancies (which can end up costing billions of dollars each year).
This study took a sample of 267 patients who used a module to submit “eJournals” about their medication discrepancies, and compared the results to a comparable control group of 274 patients who received a different personal health record-linked intervention.
More than half of those in the control group (51%) had unexplained discrepancies in their medications, compared to 42% of those reporting on their medications through eJournals.
“When used, concordance between documented and patient-reported medication regimens and reduction in potentially harmful medication discrepancies can be improved with a PHR medication review tool linked to the provider’s medical record,” the researchers concluded.
Written by Alyssa Gerace