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October 12, 2017

New Technology Improves Care For Home Patients

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ThedaCare At Home Enhances Telehealth Options

Improved technology will allow ThedaCare At Home patients to take more control over their health. ThedaCare At Home is partnering with Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) of Hoboken, N.J., to provide patients with Bluetooth-enabled tablets that can transmit their vital signs to clinicians. The tablets also allow patients to hold videoconferences with their registered nurse case manager.

“The new software improves our capability to provide patients with the best possible care,” said Kathy Weiher, ThedaCare At Home telehealth manager. “These tools help patients become more engaged in their health. If patients can better manage their health and make improvements, it will help keep them out of the hospital.”

Patients use a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled tablet that has video capabilities, blood-pressure and digital weight monitors and a pulse oximeter. The device transmits vital sign and symptom information to patients’ in real time and also triggers alerts for patients at high risk of a medical emergency, Weiher said. The telehealth services compliment home visits by ThedaCare At Home nurses.

“Most of the patients using these telehealth services have chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart problems or lung diseases,” she said. “If we see weight gain, it signifies our patients are retaining more fluid due to their chronic disease condition and likely heading into trouble.”

Patients can also watch video education programs related to their health issue on the tablet, Weiher said. “This technology gives patients more education about their disease and their current condition,” she said.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.