Does Telemonitoring at Home Make A Difference

Posted on

Mar 03, 2013

Book/Edition

Utah - Utah

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Every day patients are discharged to the home setting in need of additional supportive services to ensure a complete recovery from an illness, injury or surgery. Home health care agencies assist patients with understanding and complying with the medical treatment plan ordered by their physician. Patients who receive self-care management education along with involvement by family members and caregivers typically experience better health outcomes and greater satisfaction with their post-hospital care.
Telehealth monitoring can improve the communication between patient, home health agency staff and the physician by collecting vital information and clinical data on a daily basis. Telehealth combines advanced communication technology and health monitoring equipment to gather and transmit patient data, such as blood pressure and heart rate from the patients home, allowing earlier intervention by health care providers when problems develop.
Many older patients are confronted later in life with chronic medical conditions which can be challenging and sometimes unstable. Hospitalizations occur and patients are displaced from the familiar surroundings of their home when their chronic illness becomes unmanageable at home. Early discharge from the hospital and poor understanding of the discharge instructions for post-hospital care can precipitate another hospitalization or a visit to the emergency room.
Telehealth monitoring can eliminate unnecessary and unscheduled visits to the doctors office or to the emergency room. The information is received daily and early warning signs are monitored by a nurse and addressed immediately. Daily monitoring and early intervention supports the patients desire to be cared for at home while maintaining control of their chronic illness and preventing adverse outcomes. Patients can actively participate in their plan of care and can check their vital signs are often as they desire. Patient compliance with their treatment plan improves and their physician can rely on objective clinical data to make adjustments in their treatment plan. Patients may discuss home monitoring with their physician.
Which chronic illnesses can benefit from home Telehealth monitoring?

Congestive Heart Failure Hypertension Pneumonia
Coronary Artery Disease Coronary Bypass Angina
Angioplasty Stroke (CVA) Diabetes
Valve replacement Emphysema Heart block

Nurses are specially trained in Telehealth monitoring and assessment of patients for appropriateness of Telehealth monitoring. Hospital grade equipment is used to gather clinical data to support patient care at home. Home health agencies which offer this sophisticated home monitoring system improve the quality of care their patients receive and decrease the likelihood the patient will experience an unnecessary re-admission to the hospital.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Mary Gardner, MPH, RN. Mary is the Vice President of Business Development for Community Nursing Services Home Health & Hospice and may be reached at (801) 233-6100 or at mary.gardner@cns-cares.org.

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