Cardiac Care / Home Tele-Monitor Program
I feel so secure knowing that the days a nurse does not come to see me in my home I’m still being cared for by someone who knows me and that Community Nurse is monitoring my condition. One day my vitals were really off. But thanks to an “as needed” prescription of lasix on file with Community Nurse, and issued by my doctor in advance, I was able to stay out of the hospital and be cared for at home. Joe, New Bedford
It was right after the holidays and I had – let me put it this way – been enjoying myself with some big family feasting. Community Nurse picked up on the jump in weight and sent their nutritionist out to talk to me about what I was eating. I learned things about food and the right diet for my heart. Frank, Dartmouth
I was worried that I would not be able to work the monitor on my own – but it is easy and it assures my daughter that I am being well looked after! I didn’t fully realize the benefit of these monitors until last week my blood pressure and heart rate was really high. So Community Nurse sent out a nurse to recheck them and to talk to me to see if anything unusual was happening. Turns out I had mixed up my pills. The nurse helped me refill my pill box according to the doctor’s orders. Maria, Acushnet
WHAT IS TELE-MONITORING? An easy to use monitor is installed in a patient’s home and each patient is given an in person tutorial on how to use the monitor. Each day the monitor leads the patient through a guided question and answer session regarding their health and comfort – similar to what would be discussed during an on-site appointment. In addition, the monitor takes the patient’s heart rate, weight and blood pressure. All data is transmitted to Community Nurse Home Care where a nurse evaluates the patient’s condition.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Tele-Monitors bring improved health and peace of mind to our patients and their families. If anything out of the ordinary is detected during the daily assessment action can be taken immediately. It has been proven that Tele-Monitors help to minimize complications, provide early intervention in life threatening situations, allow patients to take ownership of their illness and prevent avoidable hospitalizations due to exacerbation of the disease.
WHAT IS THE COST? This program is provided at no cost to the patient or family and it is not reimbursed by insurance. As a not-for-profit home care agency, this program relies on the generosity of the community. Because preventative/custodial care such as this is not covered by insurance reimbursement, incremental funding through support from the community is necessary to fully realize the full potential of this wellness program.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY NURSE & HOSPICE CARE DOING? We currently have 50 monitors and a staff of three who administer this program.What we have been able to achieve with the limited resources we have is incredible. The care provided to our patients with heart disease though our tele-monitoring program, has proven indispensable. This approach and these programs have proven incredibly effective garnering outstanding results for our patients and several statewide recognitions for our agency’s innovative approach and use. Patient satisfaction is high. Community Nurse cares for approximately 650 cardiac patients a year and we have been able to enroll approximately 280 patients a year in our Tele-Monitor program. We have done the very best we can with what we have in place. But we must do more.
WHAT IS OUR EXPANSION PLAN? Our monitors are limited in number as well as in desperate need of updating. With enhanced equipment and community/physician education, we can offer this vital service to best meet the health needs of all our neighbors. We hope to add 50 new monitors to our inventory while working to incrementally upgrade our existing equipment with the ultimate goal of being able to monitor all of approximately 650 annual cardiac patients.
We will need to bring on additional staff or increase staff hours to meet the growing demand for this program and the needs of all our cardiac patients. We want to create a patient handbook specific to the Tele-Monitor program that would accompany the Cardiac Care handbooks already produced. We hope to more extensively market and provide education about this beneficial program to the physicians throughout our region. We also look to upgrade our Tele-Monitor offerings and equipment to accommodate the unmet needs of our diabetes patients. The cost of this expansion is approximately $250,000.