Lahey Health at Home believes that communication is essential and that some medical conditions can be most effectively monitored in the comfort of one’s home. That’s why we utilize a state-of-the-art Telehealth program for those clients for whom it is appropriate. Using electronic information and telecommunications technologies, we are able to support long-distance clinical healthcare and patient and professional health-related education.
This is especially valuable for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic illnesses. Because these patients run a high risk of repeated hospitalization, it is critical that they and their family members learn home self-management skills. The Telehealth program makes this easier than ever before.
How does it work?
Each morning, enrolled patients use a Telehealth unit (about the size of a paperback book) that plugs into their phone lines to transmit their vital signs and symptoms to a nurse at Lahey Health at Home . Depending on the patient’s individual situation, the set-up might also include a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter or weight scale.
Once the data is sent over the patient’s phone line to a secure website, a Lahey Health at Home nurse evaluates his/her readings to determine if an intervention is needed. If the weight of a patient with congestive heart failure has increased by a few pounds, for instance, it could be the first sign of an acute problem.
Sometimes a phone call is all that is needed, but occasionally a same-day home visit by the nurse is in order. The nurse can also communicate concerns directly to the patient’s primary care physician (PCP), who may make adjustments to medications or other changes to the care plan. All of these interventions are designed to detect and address problems early, enabling the condition to be stabilized at home and preventing a hospitalization.
Lahey Health at Home’s Telehealth program involves patients in their own care, facilitates communication with their caregivers and shares vital information. Patients learn about the relationships between the food they eat and their weight. They discover the importance of following their therapeutic diets. Those monitoring their blood pressure learn how important it is to take their medications as prescribed.
Telehealth does not replace nurses. Instead, it empowers and educates patients, enhances the ability of nurses to manage patients’ conditions at home and helps patients, their medical teams and their families communicate and collaborate in the effective management of chronic diseases outside the hospital.
Myomo® Robotic Technology for Stroke Rehabilitation
Lahey Health at Home is proud to be the first home health agency in the world to make use of Myomo® robotic technology. By employing rehabilitation therapists certified to work with it, we are pioneering the use of its advanced technology in the home care setting.
Utilizing the revolutionary Myomo® equipment, which uses patients’ own motion as part of the recovery process, we can serve patients affected by strokes, spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological conditions more effectively. We have also found that the Myomo® technology is able to support patients whose injuries occurred as many as 20 years ago, bringing new hope and opportunities to patients coping with long-term disabilities.
Specialized Diabetes Management Services
At Lahey Health at Home, we are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of people coping with diabetes in the communities we serve. With a certified diabetes educator on staff, we can provide the specialized care, education and support that diabetics and their family caregivers require.
Dedicated COPD Program
For patients living with COPD, Lahey Health at Home offers a specialized program that enhances patients’ quality of life while bridging the gap between the hospital setting and their home. The benefits of our COPD program include:
- close coordination and collaboration with our hospitals and other healthcare settings to ensure patients’ smooth transitions home;
- access to an on-staff physical therapist trained in chest physiotherapy;
- extensive patient and family education; and
- telemonitoring services.
Expert Wound Management Services
Lahey Health at Home employs a full-time wound specialist continence nurse (CWOCN) to oversee the treatment of wounds, educate staff and consult with area wound centers. Our CWOCN has over 35 years of nursing experience, and is seasoned in treating a variety of wounds, including problematic ones.