Continually seeking to use the most effective treatment methods, Iredell Health System is utilizing a newer but rapidly growing telecommunication technology to care for its homebound patients: telehealth.
The remote patient monitoring system enables Iredell Home Health to fulfill the needs of patients young and old who are homebound for a longer period of time. This can include a patient returning home from the hospital and transitioning to caring for themselves, one who has had a knee replacement and is homebound for weeks, and many other scenarios.
By utilizing telehealth to ensure patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time, Iredell Home Health is a leader in promoting remote patient monitoring as it improves health outcomes nationwide and becomes fundamental to the future of healthcare.
Iredell Home Health’s telehealth is simple for patients to use. A team member places telehealth equipment inside the patient’s home and shows them how to operate the user-friendly technology. A tablet sounds the daily reminder, “It is time to take your vitals.” The patient then measures their blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels, and weight before submitting the data electronically to Home Health nurse Deborah Walker for review. At the end of each week, the Home Health team graphs the information and sends it to the patient’s physician.
By providing patients care in their homes, Iredell Home Health has reduced the number of patients being readmitted to the hospital after discharge. And as more patients utilize telehealth’s remote monitoring capabilities, that number continues to decline.
Telehealth helps patients with unexpected issues. If a patient with heart failure suddenly begins to have swelling or difficulty breathing, the on-demand healthcare option can make the difference in protecting them from injury or saving their life.
An increasing number of elderly patients are using telehealth to manage chronic conditions. Changes in a patient’s vital signs often happen gradually, and telehealth allows Walker to identify those changes as they occur. After a change, she will call the patient to get an update. And if the patient isn’t feeling well, perhaps suffering from shortness of breath, Walker acts as a link back to the patient’s physician to provide the necessary information for effective care, whether it be altering a medication dosage or making an at-home visit.
Iredell Home Health often provides telehealth to patients with heart failure or pneumonia. For patients whose blood pressure or pulse can spike from being anxious in a doctor’s office, measuring vital signs in their most comfortable environment can improve accuracy. Measuring the signs daily also helps patients be more aware of and invested in their health.
With telehealth, patient care is no longer limited to the confines of a physical facility. The technology provides Iredell Health System’s patients with peace of mind knowing they have an entire team constantly ready to help.
The Iredell Home Health team includes skilled nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and medical social workers bringing a range of services to patients in their homes. To learn more about Iredell Home Health and telehealth services, call 704-872-6552.