Keeping Patients At Home Where They Want To Be
Telehealth is an in-home monitoring program that allows Visiting Nurse Service nurses to remotely track a patient’s vital signs including weight, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation. The equipment is compact, wireless and easy for the patient to use – all that’s needed is a few minutes each day. Data from the devices is sent by secure server to VNS nurses who read and analyze the information.
In use since November 2007, the VNS Telehealth program has proven to be an indispensable part of many patients’ care and lives. Telehealth has led to a significant drop in the number of VNS patients needing acute care to well below the state and national rates. The average length of stay on the program is 68 days.
VNS patients with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, hypertension or COPD may qualify for this service. Participating individuals use small, convenient devices a few minutes each day to check their vital signs in the comfort of their own homes. These measurements are then transmitted automatically by the devices to VNS nurses who readily access the information and act on it accordingly. If the patient’s vital sign measurements are outside of limits set by the patient’s physician, the nurse will call the patient to see what is happening. Sometimes, the VNS nurse will have medications adjusted through contact with the patient’s physician. Communication and directives from the patient’s physician are paramount, and Telehealth’s purpose is to enhance the physician’s care, not replace it.
Early intervention and response to subtle changes in the patient’s vital signs have prevented rehospitalizations and unnecessary trips to the emergency room for many patients. Lastly, the Telehealth program’s greatest strength may be something that can’t be readily measured – peace of mind for patients and their loved ones.
There is no charge to the patient for this service. For additional information, call VNS at 330-861-6127.
Date Updated: 20-MAR-2015