Remote Health Monitoring Helps Patients Live Independently at Home
NORFOLK, VA (October18, 2010) - The ability to monitor a patient’s health from any distance is an impressive feat in itself. With technologies used at Sentara Home Health Agency, a division of Sentara Healthcare, it offers peace-of-mind to the patient and families.
Sentara Home Care Services uses a telehealth computer and telephone link to monitor a patient’s blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and weight. It is one of many home healthcare services provided across Virginia and northeastern North Carolina to support a patient in their home.
The Telehealth Program Monitoring System offers a touch screen monitor that goes through a series of questions to gage how the patient is feeling that day. Typical questions include: amount of pain patient may be experiencing, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, and dizziness. A numerical continuum ranging from 1-5 is used to rate how the patient is feeling. After all vitals have been checked and questions answered, the patient’s information is then sent to a nursing monitor station where the information is analyzed, recorded, and sent to a doctor for review.
If needed a doctor can increase or decrease the patient’s medications based on the results. The typical patient is responsible for connecting to the telehealth system at least once a day, usually in the morning. Every ten days the patient also receives a visit from a home health nurse. During the visit, the nurse performs a “complete check” of the patient which is equivalent to a full physical.
During a recent visit to an 81-year-old living independently, the benefits of a telehealth system such as this was evident. Her medical history from 2001 to 2006 includes: a deep vein thrombosis, pace maker, defibrillator, and stroke. In reality, she and other telehealth patients would probably have to live in some type of assisted living center if it were not for this technology.
Through daily monitoring of her vital signs through the telehealth program, her visits to the doctor’s office have dramatically decreased. Most importantly this tool has provided her with a sense of security regarding her health.
The benefits of a Telehealth Program Monitoring System are endless. Patients are able to become more involved in monitoring their health, while also becoming more knowledgeable about their health. The telehealth tool is capable of keeping patients in their homes and out of nursing homes, in many cases it is the patient’s last resort. In today’s world of rapidly changing technology, the telehealth system’s capabilities can only grow.
For more health information and the latest press releases, go to the Sentara news page on Sentara.com.
Sentara Home Care Services
Telehealth Program Monitoring System