Virtual care with remote monitoring catches drug errors and reduces patient pain

November 4, 2021

Older woman uses virtual care monitorImage credit Cloud DX

The use of take-home technology by patients following non-elective surgery resulted in significantly greater detection and correction of drug errors, and reduced pain, according to a study published in The BMJ

The Ottawa Hospital was one of eight sites to participate in this national clinical trial, which looked at patient outcomes from virtual care and remote automated monitoring (RAM). Half of 905 post-surgery patients were randomized to use this technology at home for 30 days after they left the hospital. 

The study found fewer patients with the take-home technology had to return to the hospital for care. In addition, more patients in the virtual care group compared to the standard care group had a medication error detected (30% versus 6%, respectively) and corrected (28% versus 4%, respectively). As well, fewer of the virtual care patients -- a difference of 10 to 14% lower --reported pain compared to the standard care group. 

The Ottawa Hospital is currently operating a Ministry of Health funded pilot program that would continue to offer this care. See the press release from McMaster University.

Local co-authors: Manoj Lalu, Gavin Hamilton, Alan Forster, Colin McCartney, Samantha Halman, Husein Moloo, Melissa Waggott

Local collaborators: Daniel McIsaac, Sarah Tierney, Shawn Hicks, Kathryn Wheeler, Josh Robert, Colleen McFaul, Greg Krolszyk, Purnima Rao, Stephane Moffett, Dan Dubois, Catherine Code, Heather Clark, Melissa Rousseau, Catherine Gray, Dominique Yelle, Youssef Tawil, Babak Rashidi, Weiwei Beckerleg, Shipa Gupta, Sudhir Sundaresan, Suzanne Madore, Andrew Seely, Reece Bearnes, Dean Fergusson, Susan Madden, Jad Abou Khalil, John Sinclair, Moein Momtazi, Rodney Breau, Humberto Vigil, James Chan, Freddy Ngyuen

Funding: The Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO) COVID-19 Innovation Grant,  Roche Canada COVID-19 Innovation Grant, McMaster COVID-19 Research Fund,  and The Research Institute of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Research at The Ottawa Hospital is possible because of generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.   

Media Contact 
Amelia Buchanan
Senior Communication Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute