Saint Agnes Medical Center

SPR 2018

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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4 H E A LT H Y S P I R I T S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 w w w . s a m c . c o m S aint Agnes Home Health has launched a new program – Home Care Connect™ – that empowers patients who are recovering at home from an illness or surgery to be more in control of their health care. As a result, patients have been able to avoid additional hospitalizations and ER visits. Home Care Connect™ is an integrated care system that allows patients to be monitored 24/7 from a Virtual Care Center that is staffed by specially trained nurses. Utilizing wireless devices, including a 4G-enabled tablet with voice and text instructions, scale, pulse oximeter and a blood pressure monitor, patients are able to stream information to the Virtual Care Center where it is received by nurses who respond in real time to changes in blood pressure, weight, health symptoms, etc. Patients and nurses can also connect for virtual visits at any time using two-way video. This technology blends nurse and therapist in-home visits with easy-to-use, advanced technology and 24/7 virtual care to empower patients to achieve their health goals. Home Care Maria deGonzalez shows contents of her Home Care Connect TM system. Home Care Connect TM is an integrated care system that allows patients to be monitored at home 24/7 by specially trained nurses. "I really enjoy knowing what to expect each day as far as my sugar levels or heart rate," says Home Care Connect TM user and Saint Agnes Home Health patient Maria deGonzales, 71, of Sanger. Maria used the system for three weeks following treatment she received at Saint Agnes Medical Center. While in the hospital, physicians discovered Maria's sugar levels were elevated due to her nebulizer and inhaler, and she also had a severe Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) spreading to the kidneys. Upon being discharged home, Maria was asked if she'd like to use the Home Care Connect™ system. "I said, 'Yes, anything to help me stay out of the hospital'. It's been wonderful. The staff have visited to show me how to use it and they're great. I'm getting better each day," Maria says. Maria keeps her Home Care Connect™ system, along with the provided scale and blood pressure cuff, in the kitchen where she enters her vitals every morning. The easy-to-use speech and text instructions walk her though steps to take and record blood sugar levels, pulse and weight. If they change or appear to be abnormal, or if Maria reports a change in how she feels, Virtual Care Center nurses can take immediate action to help her, thereby preventing unnecessary ER visits or re-hospitalizations. "The doctor's office takes forever and I can't go there every day," Maria says. "Plus, the wait time and all the other people there with colds or the flu … I don't want to catch that, so there are a lot of benefits to this." In addition, Maria's Saint Agnes Home Care team calls her once a day to check in and ask general health questions. Her care team also completes nursing visits once a week in line with Maria's care plan. Home is where your health is Saint Agnes Home Health launches virtual care

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