Nursing Teleconsultation for the Outpatient Management of Patients with Cardiovascular Disease during COVID-19 Pandemic

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 21;18(4):2087. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18042087.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: During the COVID-19 outbreak, non-urgent clinic visits or cardiac interventional procedures were postponed to a later date, and the implementation of telemedicine has guaranteed continuity of care for patients with chronic diseases. The aim of our study was to describe the medical interventions following nursing teleconsultation for the outpatient management of patients with cardiovascular diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: All patients who did not attend the follow-up visit from 4 to 15 April 2020 at our institution and who were re-scheduled due to the COVID-19 lockdown were selected to be enrolled in the study. Each patient was followed by a semi-structured telephonic interview performed by a nurse. The outcomes of our study were to assess the patients’ adherence to nursing teleconsultation and the usefulness of nursing teleconsultation to detect clinical conditions in need of medical intervention. Results: In total, 203 patients (81%) underwent nursing teleconsultation in a mean time of 7 ± 3 days from the outpatient visit lost due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Furthermore, 53 patients (26%) showed poor adherence to nursing teleconsultation. Among the 150 patients (mean age 67 ± 10 years; 68% male) who completed the telephonic interview, the nursing teleconsultation revealed the need of medical intervention in 69 patients (46%), who were more likely at very high cardiovascular risk (77% vs. 48%; p < 0.0003) and who showed a higher prevalence of dyslipidemia (97% vs. 64%; p < 0.0001) and coronary artery disease (75% vs. 48%, p < 0.0008) compared to those not in need of any intervention. The up-titration of the lipid-lowering drugs (n: 32, 74%) was the most frequent medical intervention following the nursing teleconsultation. The mean time between the nursing teleconsultation and the date of the rescheduled in-person follow-up visit was 164 ± 36 days. Conclusions: Nursing teleconsultation is a simple and well-tolerated strategy that ensures the continuity of care and outpatient management for patients with cardiovascular diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:33669951 | PMC:PMC7924875 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph18042087