Patient satisfaction and suggestions for improvement of remote ICD monitoring
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The study aim was to evaluate patient acceptance and content with remote follow-up (FU) of their implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and to estimate patients’ wish for changes in remote follow-up routines.
Four hundred seventy-four ICD patients at the device follow-up clinic at Rigshospitalet using CareLink® (Medtronic) remote follow-up, who had made ≥2 transmissions, received a questionnaire.
Three hundred eighty-five patients (81.2%) answered. Mean time with ICD was 56 ± 45 months and mean age was 62 ± 13 years; 80% was male. Diagnosis related to ICD implant was: ischemic heart disease in 56% and dilated cardiomyopathy in 21%. Twenty-six percent had primary prophylactic indication. Mean time on remote FU was 16.4 ± 6.9 months. Mean time spent on in-clinic FU (two-way transport and FU) was 4 h and 36 min ± 7 h and 50 min, excluding 12 patients from Greenland and Faroe Islands. Ninety-five percent of the patients was very content or content with remote FU compared to in-clinic FU; 3% was less content and 2% was not content. For scheduled transmissions, 21% of the patients wished for a faster reply (sms or e-mail) compared to current practice with a letter. Eighty-four percent preferred more detailed information concerning ICD leads, battery status, and ICD therapies. A total of 96 patients (25%) had performed extra unscheduled remote transmissions: 20 due to shock, 20 due to alarm, 35 due to palpitations, and 18 for other or combined reasons.
Ninety-five percent of the patients were content with the remote FU. Only 25% had unscheduled transmissions and most unscheduled transmissions were for appropriate reasons. Eighty-four percent of the patients wished for a more detailed response and 21% wished for a faster reply after routine transmissions.