We’ve seen the commercials—a video “doorbell” that
lets you see and hear who is at your front door. That kind of instant
communication is now helping patients at Campbell County Health
Home Health with telemonitoring in Campbell County, Wyoming. The first service of
its kind offered at CCH, telemonitoring transmits clinical information
like blood pressure from the patient’s home to trained home health
nurses in about four minutes.
“It can be difficult for some home health patients to know just when
something has changed and they need to call the nurse,” says Ashley
Fraser, registered nurse and Home Health Director. “Having the patient’s
clinical information sent to us several times a day gives us the opportunity
to intervene more quickly if needed.”
Patients with a chronic condition like
COPD or a
cardiology diagnosis are eligible for the telemonitoring program, which started December
2018. If the home health nurse determines that they could benefit from
home monitoring, patients receive a kit that contains a scale, blood pressure
cuff, pulse oximeter (to measure oxygen levels in the body) and a transmitter.
They are trained to use the equipment until they feel comfortable doing
“Having the equipment in their homes brings them comfort,”
says Ashley. “It prepares them to be more independent when they
are discharged from home health.”
Home Health nurse Annette Smith agrees. She has helped several patients
use the telemonitoring equipment successfully. In one case, Annette was
able to verify a patient’s changing condition and intervene quickly.
“The issue might not have been found without it,” said Annette.
Up to 15 patients at a time can utilize telemonitoring, and additional
equipment, like a glucometer (device that measures blood sugar levels)
can be added to the kits. Also in the works are tablet computers for video
monitoring, planned for implementation in the spring.
“This technology expands the reach of home health to even more rural
patients,” says Ashley. “And it has great potential to expand
to more than just home health. This program is laying the foundation for
use in things like wound care or even primary care visits. We’ve
been working on this for about a year now and it’s already been
a great success.”
Campbell County Health's Home Health in Gillette, Wyoming provides
care to patients at home—where they receive support from trained
medical professionals, family, friends, plus the comfort of familiar surroundings.
Learn more at
Photo: Home Health registered nurse Annette Smith shows the contents of
the kit used for home telemonitoring.