A pilot study of nurse-led, home monitoring for patients with chronic respiratory failure and with mechanical ventilation assistance

J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(7):337-42. doi: 10.1258/135763306778682404.


We assessed the feasibility of telemedicine for home monitoring of 45 patients with chronic respiratory failure (CRF) discharged from hospital. The patients transmitted pulsed arterial saturation (pSat) data via a telephone modem to a receiving station where a nurse was available for a teleconsultation. A respiratory physician was also available. Scheduled and ad hoc appointments were conducted. Thirty-five patients were on home mechanical ventilation, 13 with invasive and 22 with non-invasive devices. The main diagnosis was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The follow-up period was 176 days (SD 69). In all, 376 calls for scheduled consultations were received and 83 ad hoc consultations were requested by the patients. The actions taken were: 55 therapy modifications, 19 hospitalizations in a respiratory department for decompensated CRF, three hospitalizations in an intensive care unit (ICU), 22 requests for further investigations, 25 contacts with the general practitioner (GP), 66 demands for respiratory consultations and 10 calls for the emergency department. The mean time recorded for the 459 calls was 16 min/patient/week. In 82% of calls, a pSat recording was received successfully. The nurse time required to train the users in the operation of the pSat instrument was high (mean time 30 min). However, the results showed that home monitoring was feasible, and useful for titration of oxygen, mechanical ventilation setting and stabilization of relapses.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / standards*
  • Home Care Services / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Respiration, Artificial / nursing*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / nursing*
  • Telemetry