Last year, Nebraska and Colorado based Visiting Nurse Associations (VNA) partnered with telehealth software company Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) to launch pilot health intervention programs to improve care management and coordination among patients receiving home health services, especially those living with heart disease. The programs are designed to improve care management and coordination by complementing traditional home health care.
As part of the program, clients receive 4G tablets preloaded with software that works with Bluetooth-enabled devices to track biometric data including blood pressure, weight, and heart rate. Patients use the devices to record that data and transmit their vitals along with relevant symptom-related information to their health care providers. Granting providers with the ability to monitor a patient’s vitals allows them to take additional preventive actions or respond to health emergencies more quickly. In addition, the tablets provide daily medication management and vital records tracking reminders to patients and are able to provide answers to symptom-related questions. Patients may also view condition-related videos and quizzes to learn more about their health conditions. Additionally, the tablets grant participating patients full-time access to their health care providers through live-video, audio-only, or text-based communication.
Other Visiting Nurse Associations across the country have been establishing telehealth programs to address similar needs. In 2009, VNA of Greater Philadelphia incorporated telehealth programs into home care to treat patients with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The VNA Care Network Foundation and Subsidiaries, which covers eastern and central Massachusetts began a telehealth program in 2013 to improve the quality of life for patients with heart failure, hypertension, and COPD. As VNAs continue to introduce telehealth, the service may soon become a standard of home health care.
To read more about VNA’s use of telehealth, access these articles at the VNAs of America, the VNA, and Colorado VNA.