HealthDay News – More than 20% of patients undergoing telemetry have noncardiac indications, according to a study published online in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Stephanie Chen, MD, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to examine provider ordering practices for telemetry at a US-based academic hospital. Indications were categorized per the American Heart Association guidelines.

The researchers found that the top 3 cardiac indications included angina/acute coronary syndrome, arrhythmias, and heart failure (35.3%, 19.7%, and 10.2%, respectively). Overall, 20.2% of orders were for noncardiac indications, including respiratory conditions (17.4%), infection (17.4%), substance abuse (14.0%), bleeding (12.4%), vital sign monitoring (10.4%), altered mental status (7.0%), and pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis (7.01%).

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“One-fifth of patients were monitored on telemetry for noncardiac indications,” the authors wrote. “We recommend further study on the benefits and risks of telemetry in these patients and systems-based changes for appropriate usage.”


Chen S, Palchaudhuri S, Johnson A, Trost J, Ponor I, Zakaria S. Does this patient need telemetry? An analysis of telemetry ordering practices at an academic medical center [published online January 27, 2017]. J Eval Clin Pract. doi:10.1111/jep.12708