Today, we have a great story from Michelle Koeman, RN, who has been a staff nurse at Holland Hospital Home Health for 12 years. Most recently, she transitioned to using telehealth to care for home health patients. She shared with us a story about one of her patients, Susan*, whose life was saved using remote patient monitoring a week after hospital discharge.
Here is her story:
In the morning, I checked Susan’s vitals and noticed that her oxygen levels were too low. Normally they are low—she is on oxygen assistance and has COPD—but I wanted to check in on her oxygen again before I made my home visit that afternoon. I texted her through the HRS ClinicianConnect portal to her tablet asking her to retake her oxygen with the PulseOx, and I also called her cell phone. She didn’t answer her cell, so I left a voicemail for her to recheck her vitals. She usually answers my calls especially if we are meeting that day, so I thought it was strange that she did not answer.
Sometime later, I tried video conferencing through the tablet. But she didn’t answer my video call and she always answers. Nevertheless, I drove to her house and knocked on the door with no response.
While outside the door, I started a video call to her tablet and could hear the tablet ringing inside. At that time, I called her apartment complex’s maintenance.
Because she had done her vitals that morning and she didn’t re check her oxygen like I asked her to, I knew something was very wrong. When maintenance opened the door, I found her on the floor with troubled breathing.
If it wasn’t for the monitor I would not have been so persistent.
The patient joked with me about making it on time! She is grateful that I was so persistent and happy to report that she is home and doing great.
*Patient name was changed to maintain anonymity.
Thank you, Michelle, for this amazing story!