Did you know that we offer easy to use medical technology for patients to utilize in the comfort of their home? Staying up to date with medical technology is critical in every medical field, especially home health. It greatly improves the level of care patients can receive while remaining in the comfort of their own home. It not only helps reduce re-hospitalization rates but it helps patients maintain a higher level of independence which is very important for older adults and family members feel more secure with the level of care their loved ones are receiving.
As many as 1 in 5 chronic disease patients are re-hospitalized within the first 30 days. This has identified a need for patients to be able to receive closer monitoring and follow up so signs and symptoms of worsening can be recognized immediately. Medicare and Medicaid now penalize healthcare systems for re-hospitalizations that occur within 30 days for chronic diseases such as heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and diabetes. As a result of these penalties, health systems need to form relationships with home health care agencies who are able to assist them in reducing the re-hospitalization rates and it has prompted the use of medical technology in the home so that patients can be monitored more frequently.
This is where the use of our Telehealth devices come in. The device monitors the patient’s vital signs as well as symptoms associated with what they are being treated for, via electronic transfer of information through phone lines or internet access. We provide Telehealth monitors to our patients who are at a high risk for re-hospitalization. The monitors are user friendly and easy to use and most of the questions that are prompted require the push of a yes or no button or the patient may have to enter numbers if the question asked requires a numerical answer such as weight, blood pressure or blood sugar. If a patient is not comfortable setting it up themselves, we are happy to have a professional from our team do it for them. The Telehealth monitors are used primarily for patients with chronic conditions such as COPD, Diabetes, and Heart Failure as well as for patients who have had an acute MI or who have undergone procedures such as Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Heart Valve Repair, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, and total hip or knee replacements.
Our patients receive a daily reminder through the machine to record their weight, blood pressure, vital signs and other symptoms that we need to keep track of. If the patient is not able to get to the machine at the time that it prompts them, they can push any button to start it later in the day. If a patient does not record their signs and symptoms for two consecutive days, we will be alerted and our nurse will follow up with them to check in. If their symptoms or vital signs indicate that they are outside of what would normally be expected for them, there will be an indicator to our nurse that they need follow up with the patient as soon as possible.
There are many benefits of being able to use this type of technology in the home. The Telehealth monitors not only help reduce re-hospitalization rates and allow for individuals to receive patient-centered care from the comfort of their home, but it also helps reduce anxiety and helps to increase independence in older adult. Patients also feel more empowered as they become more educated on managing their chronic disease and they are more likely to embrace and take ownership of their health care plan which leaves them with a higher level of satisfaction.