In just a matter of weeks, the face of healthcare and the way it is delivered has shifted completely.
In an industry where most patient care services have traditionally been delivered face-to-face, the new realities facing providers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic have required an abrupt change to the way health providers interact with patients and deliver care. Companies and providers who had previously been relying solely on in-person interactions have been left scrambling to adapt.
At Constellation Health Services, we had remote and virtual technology in place long before it became a necessity. These services include remote patient monitoring of vital signs, communication tools, and the option for virtual visits when possible. Having these capabilities in place positioned us to quickly adapt and expand to a broader patient population to ensure continuity of in-home care when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
The reality of providing in-home health care is that many patients still require physical interaction with members of our team in order to receive physical therapy, medical care, and personal care support. We have been fortunate to have qualified and caring professionals who successfully continue to perform those essential services for our patients, particularly during this time when many who need care are safest in their home environment. Technology can’t replace that, but it can increase the level of communication between visits, substitute for check-ins, and provide crucial data remotely that allows us to stay connected to our clients in meaningful ways.
Remote patient monitoring uses wireless devices to provide access to critical patient vital information including temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat, glucose levels, etc. With access to this information, our caregivers are able to access critical data in real-time and receive alerts when patients experience a change in health status. For many of our most at-risk patients, this capability can mean the difference between life and death.
It’s important to us that connecting with patients remains our top priority. Even when technology is an integral part of our care plans, we remain committed to making sure that patients have the personalized support they need to be confident in the quality of care they are receiving. Michele Lauer, DPT, a home care physical therapist at Constellation explains, “The use of technology can be a good tool for us to effectively communicate with our patients, however, every patient is different in how comfortable they are using technology. Being able to reach out via video or phone call between in-person visits can help us to better connect with and motivate our patients. We have the proper knowledge on our end to educate patients in the use of different technologies to communicate, as well as provide patients with telehealth solutions, which has greatly improved our ability to reach more of our patient population.”
From video conferencing, to texting, email, and phone calls, we make sure that we are continually communicating with our patients to make sure they have the support needed to have peace of mind. This is particularly important when much of the current public health crisis is out of the patient’s control. Knowing they have almost instant access to their health or personal care provider is one less thing for patients to worry about.
One recent example of how we are using technology to better serve our customers came from our hospice team who arranged a virtual funeral service to help the family and loved ones of a patient to mourn his loss. With the help of his hospice social worker and our hospice chaplain, they were able to create a celebration of life that would have not been possible otherwise. Our Constellation team is proud of the innovative and creative ways we are able to provide excellent care, and especially throughout the current pandemic. Isaac Steg, CEO explains, “We have always prided ourselves in providing compassionate care, and ensuring that everyone we interact with, whether that be patients or each other, feels valued, trusted, and heard. Hearing each other when we are limited by distance, requires an increased effort, combined with technology to ensure we are able to continue fulfilling this mission. Constellation has always been able to adapt quickly, and implementing technology is just one aspect of making sure that excellence of care remains our top priority.”
Reach out today to learn more about whether remote patient monitoring and technology can help you receive the quality of in-home care you are looking for.