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The use of telecare for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: implications for management.

J Nurs Manag. 2008 Mar;16(2):173-80. Horton K. Centre for Research in Nursing and Midwifery Education, Division of Health and Social Care, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK

AIM: To evaluate the telecare service offered by Home Care teams to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

BACKGROUND: The use of telecare aims to support older people in remaining independent at home, reducing hospital admissions and improving the quality of life for older people and their informal carers. In the redesign of managed care for people with COPD using telecare, an evaluation of the implementation process is necessary.

METHOD: A focus group with Home Care teams and social care staff was conducted. Six case studies identified by nursing staff were used to examine key issues relating to telecare implementation.

FINDINGS: The experience and expectation in telecare, the usability of equipment, and changes in practice can impact on COPD care. Case studies highlight that the rapid access to care, an increased sense of personal safety and security, and the continuity of care are perceived as benefits. However, the equipment was perceived as not 'user friendly' and bulky.

CONCLUSION: It is important that any service redesign to include telecare is evaluated and targeted at its specific role.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Partnership working has to be negotiated, and leadership roles include addressing tensions and motivation within the team.

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