This programme will be the first time the state of Kansas has experimented with telemonitoring in the homes of seniors covered under the Frail Elderly Act which provides them long-term care services at home. The study will introduce wellness monitoring and management to the frail elderly population of the state who currently have no health information management programme.
According to Monte Coffman, after going through a national interview and demonstration process with major telehealth providers, Windsor Place selected WebVMC as the best choice to meet the multiple needs of this ground-breaking application in the area of senior in-home long-term care.
"The size of WebVMC's device screens, the colour-coded features and the larger print were all essential for our end user, the frail elderly", he stated. "Additionally, WebVMC's education content and clinical protocols were convincing as well as the ease of connectivity and use. We look forward to a successful outcome to this study with WebVMC as our partner."
Fifty RemoteNurse units with as many as five peripheral measurement devices - depending on the individual patient diagnosis - will be placed in homes of individual patients. The intention is to keep seniors in their own homes as long as possible and out of nursing and long-term care facilities, as well as to minimize hospitalizations, emergency room visits and scheduled physician visits.
WebVMC has provided successful solutions to hospitals and home health care providers across the United States and is a recognized industry expert in web-based telehealth technology. Scott Sheppard, president and chief technology officer of WebVMC, believes that the company's web-based telemonitoring solution will deliver better community-based care to at-risk patients while improving their quality of life and reducing the need for acute hospital intervention.
"Remote disease management is a new and effective way to measure and monitor health status in the comfort of the resident's living situation, and to give physicians and nurses access to this information right away so they can quickly identify any changes that need to be addressed", stated Scott Sheppard. "Our programme is interactive, easy to use, affordable, and can provide vital health information to not only the clinical care team but the patient's family as well."
Since 1992, Windsor Place has provided a full range of long-term care services. The scope of its operations include in-home service to 1250 Home Care clients, two Assisted Living facilities, a 171 bed skilled nursing facility in Coffeyville which includes 43 Special Care Alzheimer's beds plus a 60 bed skilled nursing facility in Iola. Other services provided to aged and disabled clients include two transportation programmes, outpatient therapy, adult day care, respite care, weekend Meals on Wheels, community education programmes and support groups.
In addition, WebVMC also becomes the first provider to extend remote monitoring solutions to the mobile patient via cell phones and laptops. At the Annual Meeting of the American Telemedicine Association in Nashville, Tennessee, Scott Sheppard is presenting a case study highlighting the effectiveness of the RemoteNurse in remotely managing health care for patients at home, in community centres, churches and schools in North Carolina.
"Telehealth today must be adaptable to the needs of the mobile patient, in addition to its use in managing the patient at home, in a hospital or assisted living facility", stated Bill Behnke. "These new capabilities are possible because WebVMC is the only telehealth company whose system is software-based, versus device-based. We can easily expand connectivity to multiple platforms like a smart cell phone, laptop or PDA. Now, patients and caregivers have new flexibility for managing health care anytime, anywhere."
For patients with chronic conditions who are still active in the workforce, telemonitoring is an effective way to manage their conditions and improve compliance. Using the RemoteNurse, clinicians can assess a patient's condition from a number of platforms including laptops, handheld devices and smart phones. An alarm system alerts the server whenever a change is made to the patient's care plan.
Health care providers report outstanding improvements in patient outcomes using the RemoteNurse system. Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta at Piedmont Hospital, a recognized expert in cardiovascular care, announced a dramatic improvement in patient outcomes and reduced hospital re-admissions including an impressive 75 percent reduction in 30-day re-admissions of heart failure patients.
Scott Sheppard confirmed that further enhancements to the basic technology will continue throughout 2007 and beyond to maintain WebVMC's position as the most sophisticated yet easy-to-use system on the market. "We plan to expand such areas as patient event tracking, an on-line medication library and video education content", he stated. "Our ability to capture real time information and immediately push it out to the patient and the caregiver makes our system unique in the telemonitoring marketplace. Consequently, we are changing the paradigm for telehealth from a one-to-one to a one-to-many relationship, migrating to an on-line patient portal versus traditional store-and-forward technology."
Going well beyond vital signs monitoring, WebVMC is the only telehealth system that delivers True Disease Management. Its advanced solution uses the power of technology for full-circle communication - connecting patients, their families, health care professionals and providers. With WebVMC's multi-platform, software-based system, health care providers can achieve their disease management objectives, decrease costs, provide better quality of care, increase compliance, improve utilization and realize greater ROI. More information on the improved results in patient outcomes at the Fuqua Heart Center is available in the VMW May 2007 article WebVMC's telehealth system helps Piedmont Hospital reduce heart patient re-admissions by 23 percent.