Telemedicine for the heart and telemedicine Asthma
The German Foundation for the Chronically Ill has, together with the Techniker Krankenkasse, offered the two integrated care programs "Telemedicine for the Heart" and "Telemedicine Asthma". This form of care promotes networking and thus better matching of the various care providers involved in the treatment of the patient, thus enabling more effective therapy, which in turn leads to cost savings. The patients receive a coordinated treatment which goes beyond the previous standard - without weeks of waiting or stressful double examinations.
Through their participation in the integrated care projects of the German Foundation for the Chronically Ill, the patients received a high-quality treatment tailored to their individual needs. All illnesses, monitoring parameters, treatment options and therapeutic steps were explained clearly and in detail to the patients. Participants always had the opportunity to ask questions and, in case of doubt, to get in touch with the telemedicine center. This procedure increases the sense of safety as well as the understanding of the disease. It promotes self-empowerment and the independent, responsible handling of one's own illness.
The following goals were pursued:
- Optimal coordination between all service providers involved in the treatment
- Supporting self-management
- Promoting patient empowerment and patient adherence
- Optimizing the understanding of the disease by patients and their relatives
- Encouraging and supporting for behaviour change
- Increasing quality of life
- Reducing hospital and emergency treatment
- Minimizing sick leave incapacity
- Reducing secondary diseases
The quality of the programmes was continuously monitored. For the purpose of control, anonymised treatment data were evaluated while adhering to applicable data protection regulations. Personal data were neither used nor passed on to third parties. Based on these data conclusions could not be drawn concerning the identity of the patients.
The results confirmed the benefits of these two innovative care concepts. The foundation will therefore incorporate the knowledge gained in the context of these programs into the design of further patient-oriented care services – reflecting the motto of the foundation: "Together, Innovative, for the People".
In cooperation with the Techniker Krankenkasse (a statutory German health insurance), the German Foundation for the Chronically Ill has provided the integrated care program "Telemedicine for the heart" from January 2006 to December 2012. The program was targeted at patients with chronic heart failure (NYHA stage II and up according to the New York Heart Association). The scheme was open to patients insured through the Techniker Krankenkasse, who had been undergoing inpatient treatment for their heart failure sometime during the past six months and who further met the inclusion criteria (i.e. a functioning telephone line).
The program has shown to aid self-help and self-empowerment respectively and optimally supplemented the existing care of those affected. The results of the evaluation, and in particular the positive response of the participants, underline the importance and benefits of such a care concept.
More information can be found here.
The integrated care concept "Telemedicine Asthma" was developed by the Techniker Krankenkasse and the German Foundation for the Chronically Ill. It was available nationwide from January 2008 to December 2012. The program was aimed at adult patients with bronchial asthma of all severity grades.
The program has presented a help for self-help and optimally supplemented the existing care of those affected. The results of the evaluation, and in particular the positive response of the participants, underline the importance and benefits of such a care concept.
More information can be found here.