Sentara Home Care Services was the first agency in the region to introduce telemedicine into the home. The telehealth program equips patients with self-monitoring equipment to measure blood pressure, pulse, weight and blood glucose. Our telehealth program allows home care nurses located miles away to monitor patients' vital signs while they are in their homes. These frequent checkups have contributed to a decrease in emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.
The telehealth program monitors patients with a variety of medical needs and diseases, including asthma, congestive heart failure and high-risk pregnancy. The small Philips telemonitor, used by Sentara Home Care Services, gives patients the ability to easily perform important measurements daily and/or as often as they want.
Patients enrolled in the Telehealth Program can also answer clinically reviewed questions specific to their condition with a touch-screen monitor. Within minutes, they electronically transmit this information to a home care nurse – all from the comfort of their home. Through a combination of in-home visits and telehealth encounters, Sentara’s home care nurses are able to identify worsening conditions early and notify physicians in time to avert hospital or ER admissions. The telehealth program has been very successful.
The e-Home Program was developed in 2010 to specifically measure the impact of readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure, COPD, respiratory distress and pneumonica and discharged from the Sentara Hospitals and admitted to home health with telehealth on the day of discharge. During the 2010-2012 time perioud, 483 patients with the aforementioned diagnoses were admitted to the e-Home Program. The readmission rate for these patients within a 30-day time period and the same diagnosis dropped to 2.3%. For CHF patients enrolled in the e-Home Program, the readmission rate within 30-days for the same diagnosis dropped to 2.0 percent. Sentara Home Care's readmission rate for all patients is 14.8 percent within 30 days.
For more information, call 1-800-HOMECARE.