An article was recently published in Journal of the American Heart Association that describes the findings from a study our RapidEval team supported. Led by Dr. Brian Hilliard, the aim of the project was to evaluate an intervention aimed at reducing unnecessary telemetry (cardiac monitoring) use.

The project team created a Clinical Decision Support tool that incorporated American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for telemetry use, as well as a Best Practice Alert that would appear when a patient reached the end of their recommended telemetry duration. By reducing potentially inappropriate telemetry use, this intervention could lead to better patient experiences and a more efficient use of health system resources.

The research team conducted an interrupted time series analysis, a study design where data is collected at regular time intervals before and after an intervention, as well as a series of interviews with physicians to better understand the factors impacting a provider’s decision to use telemetry monitoring.

The authors started by evaluating variation in telemetry use and dividing physicians into excessive and nonexcessive users of telemetry monitoring, according to AHA guidelines. Overall, both excessive and nonexcessive users decreased telemetry use after the tool was implemented. This reduction was sustained for 16 months after the intervention started. Despite these reductions, around 10% of all telemetry use continued to be over the AHA guidelines. 

The interviews provided qualitative data on the intervention. Most interviewees mentioned a benefit to the tool, noticing that it reduced inappropriate telemetry use and helped them consider more closely if a patient should receive telemetry monitoring. They also provided important feedback on the design and implementation of the tool. 

Read more about the findings of this study here.