A Primary Care Network pilot project is helping central Albertans living with chronic diseases to manage their conditions remotely.
The Central Zone PCN Home Health Monitoring Project allows patients to get the support they need to monitor their care at home using medical devices like blood pressure cuffs, glucometers and thermometers. Patients input their data from the devices into tablets to share it electronically with their health team.
Pearl O’Gorman’s doctor with the Red Deer Primary Care Network recommended her for project to help manage her diabetes.
She said it was encouraging to be able to see the measurements each day.
“I recently saw my doctor after completing the project, and my blood sugar was down and my weight was down. My lifestyle has changed. The extra support made a difference,” said O’Gorman in a statement.
“I feel like a new me!”
Another patient diagnosed with type II diabetes was able to come off most of his medications after taking part in the project through the Red Deer PCN.
“The project is particularly helpful for people who are living alone. If you miss one check-in, the care team will call and see if something is going on, and provide intervention if they need it,” said the patient who did not want to be named.
“The monitoring and lifestyle changes made a big impact on my condition.”
A total of 500 patients with 11 Central Zone Primary Care Networks will participate in the pilot project that started in January 2021 and runs until June 2022.
The project was developed prior to the pandemic, but has become useful after COVID-19 struck.
Lori Watts, program manager at the Red Deer PCN, said patients are given the support and feedback to make choices to reduce doctor and hospital visits.
“It’s a learning tool. It’s teaching the patients how to do self-management,” Watts said.
The project is a collaboration between Alberta Central Zone Primary Care Networks, TELUS Health, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Alberta Innovates, Health City, and Alberta Health Services.