Unique Telehealth Programs: Paramedic Home Visiting Program

By Gigi Cordero

Araelle Jenison is an EMT and the Manager and Telehealth Coordinator for the Mobile Health Care System Community Check Program for Adirondack Health. The program is designed to complement home health care. Patients placed on the program can benefit from the immediate intervention of paramedics. In her own words Jenison writes about the program and how it has been implemented in the Southern Washington County and Northern Rensselaer County.

 

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The goal of the Mobile Health Care Systems Community Check Program is to reduce health expenditure by filling in gaps in population health and healthcare delivery. The most prevalent gaps that the program hopes to address is the inability to consistently monitor patients post hospitalization while also addressing delayed clinician intervention.

 

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Our purpose is not to take the place of visiting nurse care but rather to supplement it and provide the patients with the best possible care they can have.  Another purpose behind our visits is to connect the patients with their primary care physician providing them with the tools for them to conduct real time assessments. This unique opportunity is especially helpful when someone doesn’t have access to transportation to go in and see their provider.

 

So far since the implementation of the program in 2016, we have seen great results.

For example, a participant called one of our providers after they began experiencing some pain accompanied by a rash on their head.  Our provider then went directly to the participant’s house and did an assessment. The provider discovered that the participant had shingles and then called their primary care physician directly. The primary care physician set up a same day appointment with the participants and transportation was arranged. If they were not enrolled in our program they would’ve called EMS instead. The participant received immediate and appropriate care while avoiding unnecessary hospitalization.

 

For another participant, a routine vital sign check up revealed rib pain, crepitus, and audible grinding noises upon inhalation. The participant had mentioned that she had fallen a few days prior and had pain since. The provider then alerted the primary care physician and called for an ambulance to take the participant to the hospital. The participant was found to have three cracked ribs.

 

Other times participants have presented with minor issues or the beginnings of some that could become serious. We are responsible for notifying the primary care physician and ensuring that the patient’s needs are quickly addressed. Physicians typically make prescriptions over the phone, set up appointments right away, or provide instructions to monitor and adjust parameters to help the participant.

 

Some participants are also enrolled in our unique telehealth program which allows daily monitoring and medication reminders. The participants have stated that with these tablets they feel more secure in their homes knowing we can monitor their vitals daily. Other participants are enrolled in the program because of poor medication adherence and after receiving a tablet with reminders, they have 100% adherence.

 

These are just some examples of how our program is benefitting the community. There are many more and all participants enrolled are grateful and feel more comfortable living in their homes with access to healthcare providers.

 

 

Thank you, Araelle Jenison, for your contribution to our HRS Blog!

 

Tags: telehealth, remote patient monitoring, chronic disease, clinician engagement, EMT, unique telehealth programs

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