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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Home Telehealth – What's it all about?

Home Telehealth

Toni Keel, Home Telehealth Nurse

By the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do you have a chronic medical condition such as Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or Hypertension? Do you want to have better control of your condition? Home Telehealth can provide education and symptom specific questions in addition to vital sign monitoring that you already do every day. As an added bonus, a nurse will monitor your condition with you. That’s what Home Telehealth is all about.

Dennis Moersch, a U.S. Army Veteran from Rolla, Mo., is a shining example of what the program can do. To better control his Diabetes and his Hypertension, Dennis enrolled in the Home Telehealth program. Shortly afterward, he received the monitoring equipment in the mail. Dennis reported that set-up was a snap. “I agreed to do it, because it was easy, “said the Veteran. “ I went home and, ten minutes later, it was ready. The first use was pretty easy, because I got prompts on everything.” 

When asked how he benefited from the program, he stated, “It’s motivational. It makes me more conscious of the problems I have and trying to work to keep them under control.” When referring to Toni Keel, RN, his Home Telehealth nurse, he said, “They are prompts for Toni and that’s the way I look at it. If my feet are bothering me, I answer the question yes, even though that question comes up every day, it applies to me. Toni is good to call me. If she sees that my feet are bothering me, she calls me.”

Dennis became so good at managing his diabetes that Toni graduated him from the program. However, Dennis liked Home Telehealth so much he asked if he could remain in the program and Toni agreed. As a result, his success continues to this day.

The process is simple. If you have a chronic condition that would benefit from daily monitoring, ask your primary care provider if Home Telehealth is right for you. If they agree, you’ll be enrolled in the program and equipment will be mailed to your home. Should you need help connecting the equipment, a VA technician is just a phone call away. You’ll interact with the Home Telehealth equipment daily by transmitting your vital signs and answering symptom related questions. Sessions take 5-10 minutes and become part of your daily routine. This will enable you to have a more consistent understanding of your state of health. The data you transmit will be monitored remotely by a nurse who will keep in touch with you on any points of concern.

Home Telehealth has been shown to decrease hospitalizations and improve communication with your health care team. Enrolling in the program will allow you to gain better control of your chronic health conditions by providing education and feedback.  If you are ready to take control of your health, give your PACT team a call today!


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