Helping Patients Help Themselves: The Added Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring to Home Health Care

Helping Patients Help Themselves: The Added Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring to Home Health Care

Maria Angela M. Saquibal (The Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, USA) and Melissa Lantz-Garnish (The Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/ijudh.2012040106
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Abstract

The Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHHCG) developed standard protocols for management of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) in an effort to improve patient outcomes and reduce preventable hospital readmissions. JHHCG implemented Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), a telemonitoring program customized for the CHF/COPD patient that provides real-time, daily reporting of qualitative and quantitative data as well as patient education/reinforcement. Patient data is trended on a web-based program and overseen by the Disease Management Nurse. Emerging trends are easily identified, allowing for early and appropriate intervention. This program sets itself apart because of the constant communication and aggressive management of the patient as a team (patient, RPM disease manager, field nurse, and physician). Key to the success of home care and RPM is access to and collaboration with a responsive, managing physician that oversees the patient based on their plan of care.
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The Process Of Remote Patient Monitoring

The RPM program at JHHCG is currently managed solely by the tremendous efforts of the Disease Management nurse (DM nurse). She is a registered nurse with extensive experience in home health. Due to the success of the program, she can be accountable for upwards of 50 patients at once. Her daily routine consists of monitoring patients’ biometrics and symptomatology, conducting follow-up phone calls and constant communication with their primary care physician.

Vital signs are collected from each patient and they include blood pressure, heart rate, weight and oxygen saturation. The RPM tool has the potential to assess other metrics such as peak flow and blood glucose monitoring. The patient data is transmitted to the JHHCG monitoring center using the patient’s home phone line or a wireless connection. Therefore, the DM nurse can access the information from each patient transmission. An image of the various parts of the RPM monitoring tool is seen in Figure 1.

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