Telehomecare is a system devised to aid seniors who live at home with two specific illnesses. These systems allow seniors to enjoy living in their homes longer since their caregivers are able to provide better home care and peace of mind. The system is currently available through select hospitals in Ontario and through Local Health Integration Networks.
What are some of its features?
The program is designed to use technology that delivers healthcare services to patients struggling with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The technology manages to monitor the patient’s heart rate, weight, oxygen levels, and blood pressure, among other variables, and transmits the information to relevant healthcare providers.
The program does not only monitor these variables but also provides an educational component to patients. When patients sign up for the program, they are loaned a tablet device, an oxygen monitor, a blood pressure cuff, and a scale in order to correctly check their vitals for six months in total. The program also monitors the patients by asking questions from Monday to Friday in order to assess their health. The questions have either yes or no answers and are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. They are straightforward and simple to answer. The data is transmitted to a remote Telehomecare nurse and is interpreted by them.
That isn’t all. Telehomecare nurses call their patients twice a week in order to perform health education on a variety of topics like medication management, diet plans, or stress management.
How does it work?
The idea is that a patient signs up to avail Telehomecare services and receives the equipment. It is then set up by a Telehomecare professional technician, and the program runs on the equipment and the telephone. It is designed to be simple for seniors to use even if they have had little to no exposure to the latest devices. No previous experience with technology or computers is required for patients to properly use the system.
A Telehomecare team is available for support and provides assistance to the patient through every step of the way. The support group is available to help with things like learning how to properly use equipment, setting goals, or even providing self-management tips.
How is this program innovative?
Telehomecare has developed this program and its equipment in order to reduce the visits of patients to the emergency room by monitoring vitals to pick up on any issues before they worsen or arise in the form of, say, a stroke. This decreases the admissions in local and private hospitals and also increases the patient’s confidence by allowing them a platform through which they are able to self-manage their chronic ailments without relying on professional healthcare out of the comfort of their home. The program also acts as good support for the patient’s doctor or their nurse as it helps collect more information over time to develop a better picture of the patient’s health.
Telehomecare is a system that will help seniors learn more about their ailment and identify as well as manage symptoms. There will be a reduced risk of issues arising if seniors follow the advice on exercise, diet, and management of stress and medications as prescribed by the system. The advice is unique as it is catered specifically for each patient and is, therefore, even more beneficial.
The program is actually not limited to seniors as it is available to people between the ages of 33 to 103. A provincial survey performed on the Telehomcare program yielded results that showed 94% of users felt their ability to self-manage their COPD or CHF had improved. 96% of users agreed that they were likely to recommend the program to others as well. Furthermore, after six months of implementing the Telehomcare program, it was observed that there was an 88% reduction in emergency visits by patients.
The average age of a patient using the Telehomecare program in 79 years old, and so the above results are, indeed, impressive. Users have shared that the program leaves them with a peace of mind they would otherwise not have. The program is transforming lives day by day ,and more and more users are touting the benefits of having their health monitored from the comfort of their own homes!