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VNA's Telehealth Expands to Montgomery County Without Missing a Beat

Thursday, September 18, 2008 General News J E 4
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PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 17 The Visiting Nurse Association(VNA) of Greater Philadelphia is monitoring the pulse of patients from milesaway.

The VNA is introducing a new personalized telehealth service in MontgomeryCounty for its patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and chronicobstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Using a VNA telehealth monitor, patients measure their own blood pressure,weight, pulse and blood oxygen level. In addition, the monitor asks healthquestions tailored to each patient to ensure risks are fully assessed. Themonitor transmits patient data and responses to the health questions directlyto the VNA. A certified nurse practitioner reviews the data on a daily basis.If the data show an increased risk factor, a VNA nurse makes a house call tofollow up with the patient.

"Our telehealth program is unique because it provides a new level of care-- a certified nurse practitioner monitors every patient," said Karen Alston,RN, MSN, MBA, senior vice president of home health and the chief nurse officerof the VNA. "No other provider in the area offers our degree of telehealthcare."

With telehealth, patients play a more active role in managing theircondition by reporting health data to the VNA. Health professionals are ablemanage symptoms proactively and provide treatment at the earliest sign of aproblem.

"Patients using telehealth services know a medical professional isregularly monitoring their health," said Alston. "This gives them a greatersense of comfort and security."

The program also reduces scheduled house calls, giving patients morefreedom to live a fuller life.

Telehealth requires a physician's order and is covered by Medicare.Patients of the VNA should contact their home care nurse about programeligibility or talk to their physician about the VNA telehealth service.

For more about the VNA, visit http://www.vnaphilly.org.

About the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia

The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia is a leading,non-profit provider of comprehensive, 24-hour in-home and community healthcare to residents of Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties.Since 1886, the VNA has provided highly-specialized, cost effective servicesto Southeastern Pennsylvania residents regardless of their ability to pay.For more information on the VNA of Greater Philadelphia or the services itprovides, visit http://www.vnaphilly.org.

SOURCE The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia
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