Chesapeake, VA – April 14, 2004 – Improved patient outcomes at lower cost helped contribute to Sentara Home Care’s strong #4 showing in national rankings published in the April edition of HomeCare magazine, the nation’s leading journal in home health care.
Sentara Home Care offers a broad range of skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, including Speech and Physical Therapy, wound care, IV infusion, respiratory care and home medical equipment.
Sentara Home Care’s growing use of telehealth technology to manage congestive heart failure patients, wound care, and asthma helped maintain its consistent top-ten national ranking. Telehealth uses digital cameras and computers to transmit real-time patient telemetry data and pictures of wounds to physicians or home health nurses, who can then make more timely decisions about treatment.
“We have been able to use telehealth to decrease costs while actually increasing the contacts the patient has with the nurse,” says Ray Darcey, vice president of Sentara Enterprises. “Telehealth is an essential component of health care delivery today,” Darcey adds. “Agencies that embrace technology will be the agencies that remain in the future.”
Sentara has a nationally-recognized advocate for telehealth technology in Rhonda Chetney, MS, RN, Director of Clinical Operations for Sentara Home Care. Rhonda serves as telehealth editor for the Home Healthcare Nurse Journal, has written extensively about telehealth in national nursing magazines, and has spoken about it at national conferences.
In addition to a strong telehealth program, HomeCare writes that Sentara Home Care is the first agency in the region “to negotiate reimbursement for the services from a major third-party payor source,” meaning Sentara has successfully negotiated insurance coverage for telehealth treatment.