Telehealth Program Allows Patient to Take Own Vitals

Mary Laubner has lived a long, fulfilled life, spending her younger days as a farm girl.

(Mary Laubner, St. Alexius Home Care Patient):  "I milked a lot of cows in my day!"

(Van Tieu):  At 93-years-old, she's raised five children, has 14 grand-children, and 20 great-grand babies. Her daughter says she's a strong woman, but after being hospitalized a few years ago for congestive heart failure and strokes, Mary's vitals needed to be monitored constantly, but Mary had one condition to be met.

(Marion Roshau, Mary’s Daughter):  "Mom's wish has been to maintain in her home.  We're definitely trying to help her do that.

(Van Tieu):  To help Mary stay in her home of 23 years, she uses the Honeywell HomMED Health Monitoring system provided by the St. Alexius Telehealth Program to send her vitals to her doctors every day. The machine prompts her to check blood pressure, weight, and heart rate.

(Mary):  "It's very handy for me.”

(Van Tieu):  Before this technology was available, patients like Mary on home care would have nurses check on them.

(Jolene Wentz, St. Alexius Home Care Coordinator):  "A nurse would come out a few days a week, but couldn't be there every day.”

(Van Tieu):  In between those days, it may have been possible for weight gain and fluid to develop in her lungs thus sending her to the hospital again, but with Telehealth, they don't miss a beat.

(Wentz):  The Telehealth program is to keep them out of the hospital, manage their illness and helping families have peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is being looked after if they can't be there.”

(Roshau):  "It's helpful that way, so we can monitor her on a daily basis and know her vitals are good. and her oxygen is good and her weight is good.”

(Van Tieu):  Marion and her siblings visit their mother often, but are happy she can be comfortable and monitored when they're away.

(Mary):  "Yes, I don't want to be away from home.”

KFYR TV
Van Tieu, Reporting