Central Alberta Primary Care Networks Use Home Health Monitoring to Improve Patient Care
EDMONTON, Alberta, March 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Residents in central Alberta are enrolling in a home health monitoring project that uses technology to support health care management. The pandemic has increased the need for alternative care delivery models, as patients with chronic health conditions are at an increased risk of serious complications from exposure to illness. The initiative, called the Alberta Central Zone PCN Home Health Monitoring Project, uses teams of Primary Care Network (PCN) nurses and physicians to remotely monitor care for patients with chronic health conditions, minimizing risk of exposure to COVID-19 while easing stress on the health system. The project is a collaboration between the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Central Zone Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., TELUS Health, Alberta Innovates, and Health City.
The project implements proven remote monitoring technologies. Using medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, weigh scales, glucometers, pulse oximeters and thermometers, patients monitor their health at home. The data from these home measurements is stored in a secure online system that is monitored by their healthcare team. Patients may use their own devices to participate, or devices provided by their Primary Care Network team. Patient evaluations will be deployed throughout the project to assess success of the care model.
“Alberta’s government is committed to supporting innovative ways to deliver services to seniors and older adults more efficiently and effectively,” says Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing. “This partnership between the public, private and non-profit sectors will help improve the lives of seniors in central Alberta by giving them access to the tools and supports they need to stay healthy and independent in their chosen communities.”
“This system allows Primary Care Network chronic disease teams to efficiently support large numbers of patients at one time. Over several months of monitoring, feedback and education from their primary care team, patients are empowered to use home health monitoring equipment to gain control over their own health conditions,” says Dr. Turner, Associate Zone Medical Director – Primary Care, AHS Central Zone.
Two Alberta Central Zone PCNs successfully trialed the home health monitoring project in July 2020 to validate existing evidence that remote monitoring is an appropriate service delivery model for patients with chronic conditions. The current phase of the project includes an expansion to six additional central Alberta PCNs, with the goal of enrolling 500 patients over 20 months.
“The Alberta Central Zone PCN Home Health Monitoring project is the first of its kind in Alberta. The project works with health companies, agencies, and clinicians to improve care management for patients in a sustainable way,” states Reg Joseph, CEO, Health City. “Demonstrating the viability of home health monitoring in central Alberta could generate widespread adoption of the care model, leading to more affordable and efficient care for patients, and better health outcomes within the province while serving as a national model of care delivery for patients in rural areas.”
Tim Murphy, VP Health at Alberta Innovates, says “This initiative challenges our traditional ways of caring for patients in rural Alberta. We’re thrilled to be part of such a productive and valuable collaboration.”
“We are committed to delivering innovative healthcare solutions that reflect our mission to serve humankind by improving human health. This is the purpose of our company. We are committed to helping ensure that patients living in rural communities with chronic conditions receive the type of care they need from home. This type of partnership will help impact the health and well-being of Albertans,” says Andrea Sambatti, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
About Alberta Seniors and Housing
Alberta Seniors and Housing provides programs and services to assist seniors and promote their safety and wellbeing. The ministry also supports the development of affordable housing and ensures Albertans in need have access to housing options. A more detailed description of the ministry’s programs and services can be found at alberta.ca/seniors-and-housing.
About Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
About Primary Care Networks
Primary Care Networks are a made-in-Alberta approach to improve and better coordinate patient access to primary care. Primary health care is the first point of contact most people have with the health system. In each PCN, a group of family doctors works with Alberta Health Services and other health providers such as pharmacists, nurses, mental health therapists, and dietitians to provide excellent health care. Each PCN designs programs and services to best meet local needs, which may vary from area to area. In the Central Zone, there are 12 PCNs that work together through the Central Zone PCN Committee to identify and coordinate opportunities for healthcare improvement throughout the Zone.
About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Approximately 52,000 employees serve more than 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 600 people across Canada. Learn more at http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.ca.
About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in digital health technology, providing virtual care, home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, benefits and pharmacy management, and personal emergency response services. By leveraging the power of technology to deliver connected solutions and services, TELUS Health is improving access to care and revolutionizing the flow of information while facilitating collaboration, efficiency, and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers, and citizens, to progress its vision of transforming healthcare and empowering people to live healthier lives.
Through the TELUS Health Care Centres, teams of renowned and passionate healthcare professionals deliver best-in-class patient-centric care to thousands of Canadian employers, professionals, and families in more than 15 medical clinics located across the country.
For more information please visit: www.telushealth.com.
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignite the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, promote the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans.
Alberta Innovates provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do – bringing together bright minds and great ideas.
Find out how Alberta innovates: albertainnovates.ca.
About Health City
Health City is a Canadian Not-for-profit Corporation that works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new pathways of care that can drive better health outcomes and economic development in the health sector. Our focus is on transforming innovations from our health sector into solutions that have commercial application and global relevance, adopting them for impact locally and scaling them for export to global markets.
For more information, visit www.healthcities.ca.