Martinsburg VA Medical Center
Veterans reap benefits of Home Telehealth
February 20, 2018
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Taking care of your health is just a fact of life and sometimes it can be complicated. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes taking care of your health easier for Veterans thanks to the Home Telehealth Program.
Home Telehealth is a way for Veterans with health problems like hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes to monitor their health and receive education on how to manage their condition from the convenience of their home.
Veterans in Home Telehealth use either a stand-alone scale and blood pressure monitor or the all-in-one Commander Flex machine to monitor and submit their weight, blood pressure, oxygen levels and blood-sugar levels. The submitted readings are then reviewed by a nurse that monitors the Veterans progress and makes sure nothing seems out of the ordinary. If a Veteran’s vitals seem unusual a nurse will reach out to the Veteran and alert their health care team.
Home Telehealth is not only tool that helps Veterans achieve their health care goals but it is also a tool that helps doctors see if their recommended health care plan is working or not. For instance, if a doctor prescribes a Veteran a new medication, he or she can check to see if the medication is helping the Veteran as expected. If the doctor does not see the results they are looking for then they can easily try an alternative plan to achieve the desired results.
For U.S. Army Veteran Thomas Clifford, Home Telehealth is more than just a way to check his vitals; it is a tool that he uses to reach his health care goals. During one of his regular doctor visits his physician told him he was pre-diabetic and that if he didn’t change his ways he would eventually become a diabetic. His doctor told him that it was not too late to make a difference so Clifford set a goal to improve his health.
Learning how to improve his health care was important for Clifford. For him the daily health education and monitoring of his vitals taught him new ways to stay healthy and keep his health goals active in his mind. “This kept me constantly aware of my health and goals which made it easier for me to push forward,” said Clifford. “Through the provided education I learned about the connection between sodium and water retention. Now I monitor my sodium every day.”
Clifford, who has positively changed his health and lost 80 pounds since he started in the program, also credits his Home Telehealth nurses and health care team with being there for him and helping him achieve his goal of becoming healthier.
For more information on the Home Telehealth program speak to your provider.