Home Healthcare Services Allow Patient the Ability to Remain in the Comfort of Home, Despite Serious Illness

November 5, 2010

The obvious goal of home healthcare is to provide healthcare services in the convenience of a patient’s home. However, for some patients this goal is more than just a convenience, it is a critical service that enables them to remain in their home instead of in a long-term healthcare setting. This is exactly what Floyd Memorial Home Healthcare has done for New Albany resident Rebecca Davis.

“Thanks to Floyd Memorial Home Healthcare, Rebecca has been able to stay in her home when the reality of her situation could have meant her going to a long-term care facility. They draw labs and provide a skilled assessment which helps me make more informed medical decisions on her care, and allows her the comfort of staying in her own home.”

Phillip Johnson, MD
Board Certified Family Medicine Physician
Physician Associates of Floyds Knobs

Rebecca Davis has suffered for the past 40 years with Sarcoidosis, a progressive lung disease that developed during her teens. According to her primary care physician, Phillip Johnson, MD, “Sarcoidosis is a disease that can affect various organs. In Rebecca’s case, it is a progressive disease that has affected her lungs and required long-term use of steroids. The steroid treatment for the condition has led to the development of other medical issues including osteoporosis, spinal compression and impaired mobility. Her pulmonary disease is at Stage 4, or pulmonary fibrosis, and she has cor pulmonale, complicating the entire picture now.”

Dan Haley, RN, is Rebecca’s Home Healthcare nurse and visits her weekly. “Rebecca is fortunate because her husband was able to retire and he stays home and does a great job as her caregiver. However, because it is difficult for Rebecca to get out for appointments due to her medical conditions and fluctuating oxygen level, she was a great patient for our Health Buddy® telemedicine system.”

Health Buddy® is an easy-to-use, in-home communication system that asks patients a series of questions, and confidentially transmits that information to the Hospital’s home healthcare team. It’s a convenient way for nurses to track patient progress daily. The system is pre-programmed according to the patient’s needs and can monitor blood pressure, weight, heart rate, pulse and oxygen saturation and blood sugar. Along with relaying patient information, the system also provides helpful facts and education tips that can help home health patients lead a healthier lifestyle.

Rebecca’s husband Daniel is her primary caregiver. “Floyd Memorial Home Healthcare and the Health Buddy® system has been a godsend for us,” said Daniel. “My wife has trouble getting out and about especially since she is on oxygen. I take her oxygen level among other information and input it to the Home Health department daily. They are great about follow-up and call immediately if they see there has been a drop or change in any of Rebecca’s levels. You think when you send information electronically that no one is really looking at it, but they’re always on top of it, which I really appreciate.”

According to Dr. Johnson, Floyd Memorial Home Healthcare Services and the Health Buddy® system provide him with the information he needs to make better medical decisions for Rebecca’s ongoing care. “Because Rebecca has multiple co-morbidities including diabetes and COPD, it’s important for me to have a full picture of what is going on with her health. With their help, I get the benefit of a skilled assessment along with laboratory data, which is critical in planning her treatment.”

Recently, Rebecca’s Home Health team noticed a decline in her oxygen level. Her nurse, Dan Haley, RN, commented on the situation. “Between weekly home health visits and the Health Buddy®, we were able to intervene quickly so we could keep her out of the hospital. We immediately contacted Dr. Johnson and he switched her medicines so we could get her back to a normal oxygen level.” Rebecca’s husband added, “Her oxygen level is really critical and the Health Buddy® has worked out very well. Along with relaying her health information, the system provides educational information that is updated regularly. I’ve learned a lot about caring for her from the information and tips it gives.”

For Rebecca and her husband Daniel, the program provides a great sense of security. “Our Home Healthcare team, from our nurses Dan and Charlotte, to Barbara in the office to the Clinical Supervisor Lynne, have all been great,” said Daniel. “They don’t make you feel like there is a question you can’t ask, and if they don’t have an answer, they will find it. It makes you feel like they’re right next door.”

Floyd Memorial Healthcare Service Areas

For more information on Floyd Memorial Home Healthcare, visit www.floydmemorial.com/home-health or call (812) 948-7447.