What to Consider When Acquiring a Holter Monitor
Ambulatory care can be stressful for your practice. With so much success hinging on what your patient does outside your office, it can be a little nerve-wracking to send your patients out on their own and hope for good diagnostic results. Holter monitors are a common pain point for many cardiology practices for this reason. Historically, the devices have been expensive and temperamental. Factor in patient self-care, and you’ve got a lot of points of failure that can interrupt test results. Luckily, modern devices have greatly simplified the process for practice and patient alike. This article will explore what to look for in a Holter monitor program to improve your patients’ test results.
A good Holter monitor should be user-friendly
This is arguably the single most important factor contributing to diagnostic success. The more user-friendly a Holter monitor is, the more likely your patient is to use it as intended. Look for a device that’s easy to install and maintain. Keep an eye out for intuitive digital readouts and a straightforward button interface. Keep in mind many of your patients will be older and less comfortable using complex technology. Simplify the process wherever possible. In general, you’ll want to avoid using devices that unnecessarily complicate the patient experience – the more they have to interact with their monitor, the more likely they are to invalidate test data.
A good Holter monitor should be durable
In the past, many Holter monitors were single-use devices designed to be thrown out after one patient. Because these devices only needed to last a few weeks at most, they weren’t built to be robust. Today, many Holter monitors are built tougher for re-use. You’ll want to find a monitor what was built with re-use in mind. Part of accurate testing requires patients maintain their daily routine – which means their monitor needs to stand up to gym workouts, bike commutes, and nights out. Broken devices, while inevitable, should be infrequent. Look for devices and programs that minimize out of pocket cost to maximize profitability and avoid passing expenses onto the patient.
Use a Holter monitor that provides reports quickly
Faster report turnaround times are never a bad thing. Devices that provide easy data transfer confer several advantages. You’ll be able to diagnose your patient faster, providing potentially life-saving care to your patients when they need it most. Patient satisfaction will also be higher; no doctor likes telling their patient they need to wait a week for their test results. And, with reusable devices, you’ll be able to increase your patient turnaround time, using fewer devices on more subjects. Look for monitors that interface with reporting software quickly and reliably.
Reliability Wins Out
At the end of the day, you want a Holter monitor that works when you need it to with minimal patient input. Consistent device performance and accurate reporting means fewer headaches for your practice and happier patients.
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