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February 05, 2022  |  News Category: Hospice News

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LAURINBURG – Scotland Regional Hospice, a non-profit hospice provider servicing rural regions in seven counties across North and South Carolina, has advanced its ability to provide safe, high-quality compassionate care to its patients by implementing a Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) program.
As the coronavirus continues to impact public safety, it presents multiple challenges to healthcare in general, especially services like hospice that provide care in homes and long-term care facilities.

Scotland Regional Hospice has worked hard to protect its staff and patients from the spread of the virus, not by avoiding its patients to limit exposure, but by putting together safe practices and innovated programs to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 while continuing to provide care.  Standard practices, education on personal protective equipment, and modifications to Morrison Manor, the organization’s inpatient hospice facility, have allowed the hospice team to provide uninterrupted end-of-life care and even offer care to those COVID-positive patients dealing with a terminal illness.

In coordination with Scotland Health Care System and Health Recovery Solutions (HRS), Scotland Regional Hospice is continuing those efforts by enrolling patients in its new Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Program.

“End-of-life care cannot wait, but in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it can be challenging to maintain the standard of care necessary to allow our patients to experience the best quality of life in the time that they have left,” explained Kim Hammonds, Scotland Regional Hospice Executive Director. “To fulfill that mission, we continue to adapt, learn, and grow so that our patients and their families receive all of the benefits of hospice care. Adding telehealth and remote monitoring is a continuation of that commitment to patient safety and quality of care.”

Once enrolled in the Telehealth and RPM program, patients receive a 4G tablet and Bluetooth biometric monitoring devices. Remote monitoring provides the hospice nurses with a patient’s blood pressure, temperature, and pulse ox.  Patient tablets include customizable care plans and medication reminders as well as the opportunity to visit virtually with after-hours nurses and providers as needed.

Each day, patients record their vital signs using the biometric devices and answer condition-specific symptom surveys, providing the Scotland Regional Hospice nursing team with a comprehensive view of their health and wellbeing.

The hospice team can monitor patients' health status 24/7 and leverage risk alerts to identify exacerbations. When a risk alert is received, the hospice nurses can immediately connect and check on patients through video conferencing available via the telehealth platform.  These tools will allow the hospice team to provide symptom control and pain management in a timely manner and can provide additional communication to families and caregivers.

Telehealth and RPM capabilities will allow increased access to care with more personal attention between in-person visits. For many hospice patients in rural communities, loneliness and social isolation severely impact the mental and physical health of those already dealing with emotions associated with a life-limiting illness. Hospice agencies typically offer patient care volunteer services to add an extra level of companionship, but with those services being affected by the pandemic, any additional care and interaction provided by telehealth and RPM can have a positive impact on peace of mind and quality of life.

“Telehealth medicine is essential in health care with the new provider shortage and pandemic spread of COVID – especially in remote areas, “shared Dr. Valeriana Esteves-Jute, Scotland Regional Hospice Medical Director. “Telehealth gives patients an opportunity to ask questions and understand hospice better. These visits are scheduled with one of our nurses. We have wonderful nurses at Scotland Regional Hospice that we trust with assessments and are able to address any medical needs of our patients for end-of-life comfort care. We do all that we can to ensure our patient receive the best care possible.”

For more information about hospice care, to make a referral, or to ask about other Scotland Regional Hospice programs, please call (910)276-7176 or visit www.scotlandhospice.org.

About Health Recovery Solutions
Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) supplies leading health systems with the most advanced remote monitoring platform and technology-enabled management services focused on changing patient behavior to reduce readmissions and improve clinical outcomes. HRS' disease-specific telehealth solutions are customized with educational videos, care plans, and medication reminders while also integrated with Bluetooth peripherals to engage patients. For clinicians, HRS' software allows for the management of high-risk patients and provides seamless communication with them through video chat, wound imaging, and text messaging. For family members and caregivers, HRS' software gives them the ability to be fully involved in their family member's care and well-being. To learn more about Health Recovery Solutions, visit www.healthrecoverysolutions.com or call (347) 699-6477.

 

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