LVHN@Home expands telehealth
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers a program that allows even more patients the ability to recover at home by combining home nurse visits, virtual physician visits and enhanced remote monitoring.
LVHN@Home is part of several programs for LVHN patients, including those with COVID-19.
For more than 15 years, LVHN has utilized telehealth technology to support patients in the hospital and at home. Services were adapted in March 2020 to provide care during the pandemic.
“Most people with COVID-19 will recover as expected at home, but this helps us ensure that even more people are able to do just that,” said Robert Kruklitis, MD, PhD, LVHN Vice President of Transformation.
“If a patient were to need additional medical attention, we are able to get them the care they need at the appropriate time and place. With these services, we are able to help many of our patients avoid hospitalization,” Kruklitis said.
Continuous Ambulatory Remote Engagement Services (CARES) monitored more than 1,000 patients a day prior to the pandemic and now monitors more than 1,200 patients daily.
Since April 2020, 2,779 people with COVID-19 have received kits for at-home monitoring.
Each person in the program receives a customized kit with tools to record blood oxygen levels and temperature.
CARES patients log in to MyLVHN, the LVHN patient portal, to record data points and answer questions about their symptoms twice a day.
Information is reviewed by a nurse on the LVHN CARES team. If needed, the nurse will discuss the patient’s condition or provide the information to a physician for review. The service is available to patients throughout the health network.
LVHN has expanded its telehealth with LVHN@Home. When a patient comes to the emergency room, physicians determine next steps in care.
If hospital services aren’t needed, but a patient requires care and enhanced monitoring, that can be done from the a patient’s home through LVHN@Home.
The LVHN@Home kit includes a pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff and thermometer, all with the technology to automatically submit data to LVHN. Patients use these items twice a day.
Nurses review each patient’s data and can identify problems to prevent hospitalizations. A nurse either comes to the patient’s house or meets with the patient virtually each day. Patients also have access to speak with a nurse any time, day or night.
The program began Dec. 23 and enrolls about three to five new patients each day. It’s available to people who live in Lehigh or Northampton counties and areas in Berks and Carbon counties.
LVHN plans to expand LVHN@Home to patients who have other illnesses and conditions, including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Virtual screenings allow people to interact with providers from their residence. The service helps reduce the spread of COVID-19. During the screening, LVHN medical professionals determine if patients should receive testing. Virtual screening options available to those who think they may have COVID-19 include:
• E-Visits (detailed questionnaire visit submitted to a provider) by visiting MyLVHN.org or the MyLVHN app
• MyLVHN Nurse Information line, 1-888-402-LVHN
• LVHN Telehealth Video Visits through the MyLVHN app
Virtual screenings and urgent care telehealth are available to patients anywhere in Pennsylvania via the MyLVHN app.