Local peer support for the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) telemonitoring project is being enabled through North Coast Medicare Local's collaborative web platform, "Healthy North Coast" (HNC). The new platform provides a Facebook like profile page for participants and allows them to sign up for different discussion groups. Each group hosts a forum that supports threaded replies so that issues, and hopefully their resolution, will be documented. Telemonitoring will be one of the first discussion groups to be trialed.
The Department is working on its own official web portal and construction is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Participating practices will be notified when it is activated.
Over 25 practices have enrolled for the telemonitoring project on the North Coast and the Department has already approved half of their target of 300 Veterans for inclusion in the trial. The conversion rate from approvals to actual participation is, however, unknown but early reports suggest this varies widely between practices from 25% to 100%. Nevertheless, surgeries interested in being involved are encouraged to submit their paperwork to DVA as soon as possible.
While the project concludes in June 2015, the North Coast is lucky to be offered the opportunity to participate in this trial of telemonitoring, an area that will be an increasingly important part of general practice in the future.