Posted on May 2, 2017 by Krista Balenko
In today’s digital age, we get automated reminders for everything... birthdays, meetings, appointments, prompts to take medications, encouragements to take more steps in a day and the list goes on... Most are helpful, some are useful, but I know of a couple that have been quietly contributing to a significant reduction in hospital and emergency department admissions for some high-risk patient populations.
Those suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF) and other chronic conditions can now be monitored remotely from their own home. They receive automated reminders to take their vital signs (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate) and answer daily questions about their health status.
These telehomecare (aka remote monitoring) solutions exchange patient information between the patient’s home location and a provider (e.g., nurse or paramedic) located elsewhere, so that the data can be reviewed and interpreted. From there, a patient’s care plan is adjusted as necessary and health coaching is provided while patients learn about self-management. In addition, the patient’s primary care provider receives updates on how the patient is doing. All this results in a patient feeling supported in their home and in turn may reduce the need for a late night trip to the emergency room.
Imagine this experience... newly diagnosed patients and their families can be truly empowered by receiving individualized care and just in time education in their own home. Using digital health is the new normal for thousands of chronic disease patients across many provinces. Now see for yourself — check out this video that describes how a telehomecare program in South Western Ontario has supported a patient and helped him establish personal goals such as seeing his grand-daughter graduate from university... these are the real goals in life!
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Krista is an enthusiastic advocate of advancing the use and spread of digital health solutions by all Canadians. While her current program focus is on telehomecare, Krista works as part of the Consumer Health and Innovation Team at Canada Health Infoway and has played various regional, project and change management roles over her 14 year tenure.