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Telehealth Home Monitor Gives Patient Peace of Mind

“Good morning! It’s time to take your vitals.” That is the greeting Janet Rutledge receives every morning at 9 a.m. The voice is coming from her Telehealth home health monitor.

Janet steps on the scale, slips a pulse oximeter on her finger to check her oxygen level, sits down to put on a blood pressure cuff, and registers all of the information. The voice proceeds with questions related to her condition, such as, “Are you having more trouble breathing today than yesterday? Did your doctor change or add any medication?” Janet answers the questions by pressing the corresponding “yes” or “no” buttons on the monitor.

The information obtained through the Telehealth home health monitor is transmitted to a central monitoring station, where it is reviewed by Ginny Bockert, RN, Telehealth nurse, to determine if additional care is required. Ginny, a Home Health nurse, assesses the results and communicates Janet’s status or any changes to her physicians.

“Janet’s health is fragile,” Ginny says. “With congestive heart failure and myelocytic leukemia, her health can deteriorate quickly. In the past, that meant that she had to go to the hospital. Now, with the monitor in her home, we are able to check on her every day and make changes to her care so she doesn’t have to be admitted to the hospital. It is everyone’s goal—Janet’s, her doctors’ and the nurses’—to keep her healthy and at home.”

Staying home and staying healthy is very important for Janet, especially because she has been in the hospital more than six times since September 2010.

“The home health monitor gives me a lot of peace of mind,” Janet says. “I’ve had it since the first of the year and I know it has helped keep me out of the hospital because problems or changes in my health are caught early. I get a call from Ginny every day, which makes me feel more in control of my health because I have people helping me, but I am still able to be at home and living my life.”

Ginny is proud of Janet’s progress since the Telehealth home health monitor was installed. “Janet is very compliant in her care,” Ginny shares. “She knows the signs of trouble and she knows what she can and can’t do. She has more of a voice in her care now. I think knowing that we are here for her has provided a lot of comfort, and it has allowed her to continue enjoying her life as much as possible.”

With a weekly visit to her oncologist, two weekly visits from a Home Health nurse and the daily checkups from the Telehealth home health monitor and Ginny, Janet feels that she is really being cared for and that her health is being appropriately managed.

By combining technology and high-quality medical attention, we are able to provide Janet—and other patients like her—with the care they require and the life at home they want. Telemedicine is only in its infancy, but used correctly it will clearly save lives. Lee Memorial Health System is blessed with caring people, like Ginny, who provide innovative care every day and night for special patients like Janet.

To learn more about Lee Memorial Health System, please visit www.LeeMemorial.org.


 

Peace,

Jim Nathan
President, Lee Memorial Health System

 

Jim Nathan,
LMHS President

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