AHA telemetry guidelines improve telemetry utilization in the inpatient setting

Sima S Pendharkar*, Ibrahim B Barry, Saikrishna Patibandla, Tiffany I Leung, Amol Gupta, Aung Naing Lin, James A Gasperino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Overuse of telemetry among hospitalized patients results in poor patient care and wasted health care dollars. Guidelines addressing telemetry use have been developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and are effective when applied to specific clinical practices and high-value care. The purpose of our intervention was to facilitate more effective utilization of telemetry in our hospital. We aimed to reduce patient days on telemetry through use of AHA guideline criteria for telemetry.

STUDY DESIGN: We used Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles with chart review for pre- and postintervention measurement collection.

METHODS: We included patients hospitalized at The Brooklyn Hospital Center on inpatient general medical wards from January 1, 2017, through July 31, 2018. The intervention consisted of a standard process of reviewing patients on telemetry based on AHA guidelines, educating teams on the guidelines, and changes to telemetry order sets. The primary outcome measured was the total number of days that patients remained on telemetry. Secondary measures included the daily number of telemetry downgrades and total number of patients on telemetry. Diagnosis-related group and case mix index were also noted.

RESULTS: Patient average days on telemetry changed from 7.20 days preintervention to 3.51 days post intervention (P < .0001). The number of patients on telemetry with a diagnosis meeting AHA guidelines for telemetry increased.

CONCLUSIONS: The stated intervention resulted in more effective use of telemetry, evidenced by fewer patient days on telemetry and increased numbers of patients on telemetry meeting AHA guidelines for telemetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-481
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020




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