Table 2

Overview and operationalisation of telemedicine variables collected in the qualitative study

ComponentDefinitionOperationalisation (examples)
Supplier(External) supplier of telemedicine for patients with HF.Sanacoach, Luscii, Motiva/Philips, linked in personal environment in EHR.
Purpose of telemedicineThe intention/motives for which the telemedicine intervention is administered: patient level and/or hospital level.Monitoring, prevent exacerbation, reduce workload, reduce costs, patient-centred care.
Considering telemedicineFirst time a clinician considered telemedicine in HF management.After diagnosis, (re)hospitalisation, titration phase.
Structured telephone supportStructured monitoring by telephone without using applications or devices specific to telemedicine and monitoring HF.Present or not present.
ApplicationsTechnologies or platforms on which the patient could receive telemedicine.Smartphone, tablet, laptop, television, smartwatch.
DevicesAccessory a patient could use to perform telemedicine.Blood pressure device (with or without Bluetooth), weight scale (with or without Bluetooth), smartwatch.
Involved healthcare workersInvolved healthcare workers and their role in considering and executing telemedicine.HF nurse, nurse specialist, cardiologist.
Control centrumThe presence or absence of a control centrum to check the submitted measurements and questions.Present or not present.
Use of telemedicineWhen a patient could use telemedicine and have contact with clinicians.24/7, office hours, during weekend, at night.
Type of contactThe manner of contact between the clinician and the patient.Direct or indirect (store-and-forward) contact with a clinician.
MeasurementsType of measurements: vital functions and HF-related complaints, used to detect deterioration of and/or to monitor HF.Blood pressure, heart rate, weight, temperature, oxygen level, HF complaints such as swelling ankles, nocturia, shortness of breath, tiredness, loss of appetite, coughing/wheezing, dizziness.
NotificationsMessages from the telemedicine intervention. Notifications can be two-sided: from patient to clinician and vice versa.Automatic or non-automatic generated messages; notifications present or not present.
Modifiable aspectsThe option to set up thresholds of monitored vital function, and the possibility to tailor these thresholds per patient, severity, type of HF or other aspects of the telemedicine intervention (eg, set up a tele-education environment).Available or not available.
Connection with EHRFeature of telemedicine if the intervention is integrated with the EHR. This means that data entered by the patient through the telemedicine intervention are visible to the clinician in the EHR without using other applications.Connected or not connected with EHR.
EducationThe presence or absence of an educational environment and the manner in which this is shaped.Present or not present.
Educational topicsThe covered topics in the educational environment of telemedicine.Nutrition, behaviour, exercise, medication.
Self-careThe presence or absence of self-care modules and the actions taken by the patient based on a digital advice or measurement.Available or not available.
ProtocolLocal (hospital) protocol which consists of definitions about how often a patient should use telemedicine/monitor the vital signs and HF complaints, depending on the HF complaints or phase (ie, titration, stable monitoring).Low-intensity protocol defined as measurement of vital signs <2 times per week. High-intensity protocol defined as measurement of vital signs ≥2 times per week.
  • EHR, electronic health record; HF, heart failure.