Remote patient monitoring: Because there’s no place like home

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Chesapeake Supportive Care brings VitalTech Virtual Care and Remote Monitoring to its patientsHoly Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey, was in one of the nation’s epicenters in the beginning of the pandemic when it made a life-saving decision. Send their patients home.

While this was a frightening decision, they were able to care for many of them with VitalCare, a remote patient monitoring system that tracked their vitals and kept them connected with their care teams. By June 2020, the hospital had cared for 5,400 COVID-19 patients at home with more than 21,000 telehealth visits. In a case study, Glenn C. Hamilton, MD, Chief Medical Advisor, VitalTech Affiliates wrote, “One consistent message throughout this experience was by adding remote patient monitoring and its sense of ‘connection’ it decreased the anxiety and fears of the patients at home and their families. The statement, ‘Holy Name really cares for and about us,’ was echoed by many remotely monitored patients during this crisis.”

When Dr. Eric Bush, our Chief Medical Officer, read about the results achieved by Holy Name using VitalCare he knew immediately our patients could benefit from such a program. Reducing emergency room visits as well as patient and caregiver anxiety were two driving factors behind Chesapeake Supportive Care’s decision to implement the VitalCare program this fall. The kit patients receive includes a tablet which connects to a home’s Wi-Fi along with a pulse/ox meter, thermometer and blood pressure cuff that transmit data to the tablet via Bluetooth. For patients who are at risk of falling, there is also a personal emergency response system device.

Reducing emergency room visits as well as patient and caregiver anxiety were two driving factors behind Chesapeake Supportive Care’s decision to implement the VitalCare program this fall.

The clinical teams can set thresholds for certain vital signs. For example, if a patient’s blood pressure begins elevating, the system will alert our team so we can respond and stabilize the patient before symptoms escalate and a trip to the emergency room is necessary. Medical information is confidential and can only be accessed with patients’ permission.

We believe VitalCare will empower our patients, their families and the clinical teams by keeping them all connected and in line with the patient’s goals of care. For the right patient, it is an extra layer of support in easing the anxiety that comes with troubling symptoms such as shortness of breath or pain. Knowledge is power. Seeing your vital signs and other statistics while talking in a video chat with your care team on how to manage those symptoms is what patient-centered medicine is all about.

To support Chesapeake Supportive Care, please contact foundation@hospicechesapeake.org or 443-837-3385.

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