GARDEN CITY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Diabetes, and wounds are often treated and stabilized in a hospital setting then discharged to continue care at home under the supervision of a Certified Home Health Care Agency. Many high risk patients can now be monitored at home through a Telehealth Monitoring System. The system enables early detection of irregularities in vital signs, helps to identify complications through a series of pre-programmed questions and monitors medication compliance. With this data, early intervention is possible resulting in fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
In a widely cited study by Meyer, Kobb and Ryan, the combination of home Telehealth and coordinated care resulted in substantial improvements in health outcomes among a group of elderly veterans with a variety of chronic diseases. Outcomes included a 40% reduction in emergency room visits, 63% reduction in hospital admissions and a 60% reduction in hospital bed days of care, along with similar reductions in nursing home care. These outcomes deliver significant savings to the health care system, particularly for treating chronic illnesses that account for roughly 80% of increases in Medicare costs.
How Does Telehealth Monitoring Work? An easy to use device is installed in the patient's home with education and training provided to the patient and/or their caregivers on the proper use of the equipment. Vital signs and response data is transmitted at scheduled intervals via the patient’s standard telephone line. Through the home health care agency’s Central Monitoring Station, a Central Station Nurse reviews the data with an eye toward Red Alerts. Red Alerts are any readings that fall outside of the physician established parameters. Although data is collected and transmitted at scheduled intervals, patient’s not feeling well can transmit their data at any time for review. If no data is received by the patient at the scheduled interval, the agency’s Central Station Nurse will follow-up accordingly. Physicians are always advised, both verbally and by written report, regarding the status of their patients.
Summary: Telehealth Monitoring improves patient outcomes and their quality of life by enabling early intervention and treatment through frequent monitoring of vital signs, responses to questions and medication compliance, if needed. By tracking patterns and monitoring vital signs at specific intervals, emergency room visits and hospitalizations can be reduced.
About the author: Gail Sussman, BSN, RN, is the Director of Patient Services for the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island (VNA of LI) headquartered in Garden City, NY. For further information about Telehealth and its benefits to patients, contact Gail at [email protected] or 516 739-1270, or visit www.vnali.org.
Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island
Gail Sussman, BSN, RN, 516-739-1270
Director of Patient Services
KEYWORDS: United States North America New York
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Surgery Practice Management Health Cardiology Hospitals Diabetes Nursing Managed Care