Posted on December 10, 2019 by Krista Balenko
Telehomecare is enabling more Canadians to receive care at home, transforming the patient experience and helping to improve their quality of life by avoiding hospital stays and trips to the emergency department. It has also saved a significant amount of money for health systems across the country.
More than 40,000 people have benefitted directly from telehomecare since 2010. They are mainly patients with chronic or complex conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. Telehomecare programs (also known as remote patient monitoring or RPM) put medical equipment, such as blood pressure monitors and glucometers, in a patient’s home. Patients record their vital statistics and use touch-screen tablets or computers to send the results to nurses or other health professionals in another location. This encourages patients to play a more active role in their health care.
Infoway is proud to have supported several telehomecare programs over the years. Most recently, we supported the expansion of a program for patients with chronic conditions who live in rural communities in Labrador and the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. The region’s unique geographical challenges are tailor made for remote patient monitoring.
Joy Williams is an insulin-dependent diabetic living with osteoarthritis whose vitals are monitored remotely by a registered nurse who provides coaching, education and support. The program has been such a success for Joy that she has gotten her diabetes under control, stopped using her blood pressure medication and left her walking stick behind.
“It was really comforting to me to know that somebody out there was going to help me through this,” Williams said.
While our studies have shown that every $1 spent on telehomecare generates $4 in health system value through avoided use of precious system resources, stories like Joy’s tell us about the kind of value that’s harder to quantify. How do you put a price on peace of mind or feeling that you’re in control of your health?
Patient empowerment and improved health outcomes are at the heart of the ACCESS 2022 movement that Infoway is leading, and telehomecare is a great example of an innovation that is transforming the patient experience. Learn more at www.access2022.ca and join the movement.
Have a comment about this post? We’d love to hear from you.
Krista Balenko is an enthusiastic advocate of improving access to care for all Canadians through the use of digital health solutions. She is a Director on Infoway’s ACCESS team and has served in various national, regional, project and change management roles over her 16-year tenure.