Telemonitoring Saves Patient's Life from Unknown Condition
In his late 50s, *Kenneth started telemonitoring at Well Care Home Health to manage his blood pressure. He suffered from hypotensive episodes and Troy Rudeseal, RN at Well Care, wanted to stabilize his readings at home. Kenneth diligently took his vitals and answered his daily symptom questions. Meanwhile, Rudeseal monitored his vitals and survey question responses. One day, Rudeseal responded to a high risk alert on Kenneth's quality of life survey questions. These questions are set up for all patients on telemonitoring at Well Care and they ask basic questions about quality of life and overall symptoms. Rudeseal noticed that when asked about his mood, Kenneth's responses showed that he was unhappy. After video calling Kenneth, Rudeseal learned that he was contemplating suicide. A former farmer who suffered a car accident, Kenneth's active lifestyle had come to an abrupt halt while recovering. His new sedentary lifestyle was negatively affecting his mood.
Rudeseal sent a social worker to Kenneth's home who determined that he needed help and placed him on therapy immediately. Throughout Kenneth's at home care with telehealth, Rudeseal continued to monitor his vitals and his survey noticing that as his health improved so did his mood. Rudeseal regularly communicated with Kenneth via text, phone,and video calling ensuring that he was engaged in his recovery plan and that he felt supported.
After 4 months on telehealth, Kenneth was discharged successfully and resumed his life as a farmer. When Troy reflects on this experience he says,"there's this lightbulb moment with telehealth because there are unintended benefits." Rudeseal was able to see beyond just the initial diagnosis of hypotension and really discover what was severely affecting Kenneth's quality of life. When talking about how the HRS software has helped Well Care reduce readmissions he says, "In addition to the benefits that telemonitoring provides for our heart failure and hypertensive patients, telemonitoring has a huge effect on patients with anxiety. Sometimes patients with chronic illness go to the hospital because they're anxious but many patients don't need to go. We can reach out to them and follow-up first when they are having an anxiety attack."
*Patient's name was changed to protect patient privacy.
(Original HRS article here).
(For more information on telehealth, read Troy Rudsesal's blog post on telehealth's role in helping heart failure patients).