Telehealth Program Allows Patient to Take Own Vitals - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Telehealth Program Allows Patient to Take Own Vitals

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Mary Laubner has lived a long, fulfilled life, spending her younger days as a farm girl.

"I milked a lot of cows in my day!" she exclaims.

At 93-years-old, she's raised five children, has 14 grandchildren, and 20 great-grand babies. Her daughter says she's a strong woman. But after being hospitalized a few years ago for congestive heart  failure and strokes, Mary's vitals need to be monitored constantly. And Mary had one condition to be met.

"Mom's wish has been to maintain in her home," says her daughter, Marion Roshau. "We're definitely trying to help her do that."

Mary uses the Honeywell HomMED Health Monitoring system provided by the St. Alexius TeleHealth Program to send her vitals to her doctors everyday.  

The machine prompts her to check blood pressure, weight and heart rate.

"It's very handy for me," says Mary.

Before this technology was available, patients on home care would have nurses check on them.

"A nurse would come out a few days a week, but couldn't be there everyday," says Jolene Wentz, coordinator of home care at St. Alexius.

In between those days, it may have been possible for weight gain and fluid to develop in her lungs, sending her to the hospital again, but with telehealth they don't miss a beat.

"[The TeleHealth Program is] helps to keep them out of the hospital, manage their illness and helps families have peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is being looked after if they can't be there," explains Wentz. 

"It's helpful that way, so we can monitor her on a daily basis and know her vitals are good. And her oxygen is good, and her weight is good," says Roshau.

Marion and her siblings visit their mother often, but are happy she can be comfortable and monitored when they're away.

"Yes, I don't want to be away from home," says Mary.

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