Three mistakes to avoid when choosing a heart monitoring providerPosted on: 09.25.14 by Digirad
Heart monitoring is increasingly a service that physicians are offering as part of their standard of care. Advances in mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT) monitoring are making it easier to provide heart monitoring services, and these advances are making the service more effective for patients experiencing heart related issues. With the growth in the market, physicians are seeing an increasing number of providers in the heart monitoring space. So how do you pick the right provider? We’ve put together a few tips on what to look for.
Mistake 1: Getting locked into a single technology or manufacturer
It’s best to find a heart monitoring provider that takes a “device agnostic” approach to recommending technology. A firm or manufacturer with vested interest in a specific device might not give you the full picture of what’s happening in the market. Holter monitoring, 30-day cardiac event tracking, and mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT) are the three largest types of heart monitoring services. It’s important to know that there are many options under each of those three categories. Find a provider that will recommend the method and technology that is right for you and your patients – not the provider’s bottom line.
Mistake 2: Not finding out who is monitoring the data
Technology is great, and there have certainly been advancements in how data is collected. Data collection is important, but what happens with that data is even more critical. Before choosing a provider, you need to know who is monitoring the data. Do the providers you are evaluating employ Cardiac Trained Registered Nurses (RNs)? Do their RNs monitor all tests for quality assurance, or do they only provide periodic spot checks? In general, experienced cardiac trained RNs maintain a higher level of expertise than Certified Cardiographic Technicians (CCT), will produce higher quality assurance and reporting, and offer the most effective level of service. Find out who is reading your data before selecting a partner.
Mistake 3: Choosing a provider with poor reporting capabilities
What can the providers you choose do with the data they collect? Setting up a monitoring device may be easy but you’ll be dealing with the reports they provide much more frequently. A few critical questions to ask are:
- Does the reporting allow for customization?
- How promptly are the reports delivered?
- Who creates the reports (software or a trained RN)?
- What flexibility is there in terms of report delivery (encrypted email, fax, web, HL7 interface)?
If you are currently looking for a provider or are curious about these services, we encourage you to do your research and due diligence to avoid these mistakes. We also recommend taking a look at Telerhythmics. Their team is committed to providing an excellent experience for both physicians and patients. Learn more at their site >
Want to learn more about Cardiac Monitoring?
The Physician’s Guide to Getting More from Cardiac Monitoring is a free, 22 page e-book that explores the latest advancements in cardiac monitoring and what they mean for your patients. Download your free copy today!