Updated Telemetry System for Cardiac Rehabilitation

Updated Telemetry System for Cardiac Rehabilitation

Windom, MN – Starting January 29th a new telemetry system for the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Windom Area Health was installed and implemented. The new system is through ScottCare Cardiovascular Solutions and is called VersaCare. It includes transmitters (or monitors) that patients wear during their sessions. The transmitters are three lead electrode devices that are used to obtain immediate electrocardiograph (EKG) data that transmits to the computer. Electrodes are “small conductive patches that are placed on the patient’s skin to detect electrical impulses, which are present when the heart beats,” and leads are “a set of conducting wires that connect the electrodes on the patient’s skin to the transmitter for transmission to the computer,” per the VersaCare manual.

VersaCare is an updated telemetry monitoring system that provides many benefits in correlation to wearing a heart monitor during exercise. It provides minimal and less artifact while a patient is exercising, includes an iPad that creates utilization of monitoring patient’s heart rhythm while walking in the hallways of the hospital as well as when monitoring more than one patient at a time. Artifact on an patient’s EKG is information or readings that are inaccurate which is sometimes due to certain movements, not enough adhesion between the electrodes and the patient’s skin, or incorrect lead placement. The new telemetry system minimizes the chances for this artifact to occur on a patient’s rhythm strip. The iPad provides mobilization of patient and not just limits them to the Cardiac Rehabilitation room, creating the ability to see what the EKG rhythm is looking like when a patient performs their walk test, for example.

The intended use of the new system is to be utilized for group monitoring of patients during rest, exercise and recovery periods. This means multiple patients can be participating in the program at one time and still be monitored while keeping track of all data necessary. Per the VersaCare manual, the equipment is designed to, “Allow monitoring and recording of electrocardiograph (EKG) rhythm, strips and documentation of related information for patients undergoing a rehabilitative exercise therapy program.” Overall, it creates the ability to track and print patient EKG reports, exercise sessions, and patient’s progress during cardiac rehab.

The new telemetry monitoring system logs several components of information during a Cardiac Rehabilitation session that are beneficial. Components such as, vitals (blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels), blood sugar levels pre- and post-session, weight (initial intake and current intake), modalities of exercise a patient uses during their rehabilitation session, workloads, the rate of perceived exertion, the exercise prescription for the patient’s session, target heart rate, or abnormalities in EKG rhythm. The system can also log any other comments from the patient’s session.

Since the implementation of the new and updated telemetry system in Cardiac Rehabilitation, it has been running smoothly and efficiently keeping track of all vital information during patient sessions. The patients are benefiting substantially from having an up to date system that is proficient in the overall function of the program.

To learn more about the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Windom Area Health, click here, or call 507-831-0642. The program does require a physician’s referral, so if you feel this could be helpful for your continued heart health journey, ask your primary care provider if Cardiac Rehabilitation is right for you.

By Lacy Krueger, MS, Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator

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