Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital (HFWH) is developing a new, user-friendly home monitoring system that will help both heart and lung patients manage their conditions at home - and avoid hospital stays.
Diseases of the heart and lungs are the leading causes of death in the United States. Two of the most common and serious are congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). CHF is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. COPD is a progressive condition that makes it increasingly hard to breathe.
Both CHF and COPD are chronic conditions, so they need to be monitored and closely managed after patients leave the hospital. But daily life with either disease can be challenging, and the condition can often worsen at home.
Keeping patients on track
HFWH's new telephone-based monitoring system will help keep patients on track. After a patient is discharged from the hospital, a nurse will call him or her at home to provide follow-up care. This can involve:
- Making sure patients have made their next doctor's appointment
- Reviewing when and why patients should take their prescriptions
- Monitoring the patients' health
"There are many benefits to a telephone-based remote monitoring system," says Dr. Jalal Thwainey, physician adviser for HFWH. "The benefits are a reduction in admittance rates, improved compliance with medication and treatment schedules and modified lifestyle behaviors, which may result in more positive outcomes."
The telephone-based monitoring system will first be offered to patients who have high readmittance rates, as well as those who are chronically ill as a result of their heart condition, says Dr. Thwainey.
Patients can access this new service by calling a toll-free number whenever they have a question about their health. Telephone-based remote monitoring provides a cost-effective way to improve quality of care for patients who are unable to make regular medical visits due to financial, transportation or disability challenges.
"It keeps patients connected with their doctor at all times," says Gariann Brock, manager of case management. "We're able to funnel patients back to their doctor versus the emergency room. It also keeps them healthier because we're working with them on a day-to-day basis."
If you have congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ask your doctor about managing your condition at home. For more on our home monitoring program, call (734) 246-6009.