Poster Presentations

P-23: Remote Pacemaker Interrogation Technology Leads to Increased Patient Satisfaction and Equal Safety, and Cost Savings for Hospitals and Patients: A Retrospective Chart Review of Guelph Patients Implanted at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener using Carelink at a Remote YMCA Guelph Clinic

Shoshana Grossman,
Umjeet Jolly,
Claus Rinne

McMaster University

Topic: Health Services

Prior to 2014, patients living in Guelph who required pacemaker implantation were serviced in Guelph with regular follow-up at the Guelph General Hospital.  In 2014, patients were required to receive these services at St. Mary’s General Hospital (SMGH) in Kitchener, a location significantly further.  As a result of feedback and the availability of remote pacemaker interrogation devices, Guelph patients are able to attend specific follow up appointments at a remote weekly clinic located in the Guelph YMCA. 

The authors hypothesize that compared to patients who have to attend their follow up appointment at the SMGH device clinic, Guelph patients using Carelink remote interrogation at the YMCA clinic experience increased satisfaction, equal safety, while both patients and hospitals benefit from a cost perspective.

A retrospective chart review of 556 SMGH pacemaker patients from 2014 to 2017 will be conducted.  The PaceArt database was used to obtain details of each interrogation visit both for the remote Kiosk and for in-hospital visits.  Patients were organized into cohorts; 283 patients using Guelph Carelink express Kiosk remote interrogation, and 273 patients using standard hospital device clinic follow up.  Data was obtained from patient charts including: date of implantation, distance and frequency of follow up, the nature of any complications, and intervention for any complications. 

To assess patient satisfaction and productivity losses, patient surveys were obtained at the YMCA.

Data regarding cost associated with each clinic including cost for the clinic space, the device interrogation systems, and staff requirements will also be analyzed.  

Preliminary Findings
Patients and their supports are inconvenienced when required to follow up at the SMGH device clinic; this equates to lost productivity.

There is an increased cost financially and in terms of resource allocation for hospitals and patients.

Providing access to remote pacemaker interrogation is expected to have a positive impact on patient safety, costs, and satisfaction, as well as healthcare costs and resource allocation.  These results are expected to be generalizable to other pacemaker programs.