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Tele Health ...........Happy Dance!

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I'm so excited and happy. After many denials for home nursing from the insurance company ( or just one visit) I found out that the Visiting Nurse Assoc has a Federal Grant for tele-health. The insurance and/or medicare pays nothing and neither will you. I got a call this morning and they will be here to set it up for us on Wednesday. See article below:

Technology plays an important role in all of our lives today and especially in health care. SMMC Visiting Nurses is taking advantage of the ways technology can improve patient care through our Telehealth Program. Here is how it works:

* Jan Prewitt-Small, RN, our Telehealth Nurse, will set up our "Well-at-Home" device in the home of a patient who could benefit from daily monitoring of vital signs. We can check blood pressure, pulse, temperature, weight, blood sugar or blood oxygen levels. The device is easy for the patient to use. Data is sent over the phone line back to the agency where the nurses can remotely keep close watch on how a home care patient is doing. The system also allows the patient's doctor, or even a designated family member, to see these vital signs through a protected website. This feature is ideal to reassure adult children, who may live outside of the area, about their elderly parent's ongoing health.

In addition to the monitoring of vital signs, the device can also be set up to remind patients to take medications or when/how to follow the doctor's orders. It will also ask the patient to respond to questions about how they are feeling and provides education about their disease and why they need to take the medications ordered by the doctor.

Happy dance....Happy dance :)

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Michelle, your determination has resulted in so much good not only for your husband but information that others may be able to use in the care of their loved ones. I think this sounds like a great system for the patient and for the caretaker who can benefit from not feeling they are all alone with a sometimes difficult and complication situation. Good for you!

Judy in Key West

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The Visiting Nurse came and installed the tele health unit today. It will be run through our current Fios line. We have a daily scheduled appointment as to when she will be calling. (We have caller ID anyway, so we'll know it's her). There is a Cam on the computer so she will be able to observe him while he uses equipment currently attached to the system, weight scale, stethoscope, oximeter, blood pressure cuff and also something that they will train me on tomorrow that will perform and EKG. He can test himself between calls if he wants and it will all be uploaded to their database. Also, all vitals etc can be accessed by his doctor or myself at anytime. If the nurse sees something that requires immediate attention she will contact his doctor immediately. As far as who pays the doctor I was told this is all paid for through the Federal Grant.

I feel so much better now knowing that he can be observed on a daily basis (including week ends). In his current physical condition it's very difficult to transport him. I do that with weekly chemo and X-rays, but this is comforting. It's almost like having a nurse right in the room checking on him.

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I'm beyond thrilled that we "finally" got something without a battle. Perhaps it's because the Ins Co wasn't involved? duhhhhhhhh Anyway, I'm looking forward to our first tele call in the morning :)

Speaking of the Ins company.....you will ALL be soooo proud of me. When I took hubby for Tues chemo they told me that Ins had not paid a dime. And that in order to continue, I needed to at least pay for May 2009 of one treatment. So, I thought, well, okay.....I'll pay it and then call the Ins co right? Well, guess what? The bill for "One" treatment was $11,653..00. Good Lord! I calmly said....nope....then went home...called the Ins. Co and "calmly yet firmly" demanded the bill be paid before next Tuesday. Anyway, the onc's office called today and said they had been "Paid in full" via a wire transfer and that if I ever wanted a job....call them. So funny because I'm a bookkeeper (at least I used to be before this journey). Anyway....I'm just having a very happy day today and wanted to share.

PS Hubby is feeling great today too! ( but then he doesn't know I've been giving him an anti depressent either)

Bless you!

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We got to use the machine today.....it's just AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!! I think that "all seriously ill patients should have this available". It's so easy to operate and with the two way camera it helped him understand more on what to do because she would demonstrate exactly what she needed from him. It's just like having her in the room :) Perhaps someday these will be available to use for doctor check ups as well?

Thanks to all of you for the encouragement and support you have been giving me these past few months. You are the ones who deserve all the credit for my recent "courage and determination". Bless you all!


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