- Sponsor programs that effectively coordinate the delivery of long-term care services in the home setting as a substitute for, or alternative to, institutionalization.
- Encourage the development of projects that extend the benefits of technology to the bedsides of patients at home, to the kitchen tables of their family caregivers, and to the devices of their professional caregivers.
- Promote availability of highly competent home care professionals and paraprofessionals through innovative education and training programs.
- Conduct outreach initiatives which heighten awareness among professionals and the public of the evolving capabilities of care at home.
- Support the dissemination of knowledge and experience in palliative care to produce enduring improvements in end-of-life care.
Children's Bereavement Program
The Children's Bereavement Program supports children and young adults during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives—as they cope with the death of someone they love. The program encourages children and young adults to ask questions and talk about the person who has died in a safe and comfortable environment. It helps them work through the grieving process at their own pace and in their own way. It offers care to our hospice families as well as providing resources to families in our community.
Patient Assistance Fund
Last fiscal year, Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice provided services to over 16,000 home health and hospice patients. We have seen an increasing number of patients who simply cannot afford to live safely and with dignity in their own homes. Elderly patients and low income families are struggling in the face of soaring utility and medical costs. At the same time, community resources are dwindling. Several organizations with a long tradition of community support have been forced to cap their support grants. Others simply no longer exist.
The clinical staff of Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, led by a registered nurse or physical therapist, assess the skilled needs of patients at home. Under-insured and low-income patients often put themselves at risk unintentionally. They overlook or dismiss the importance of items such as home safety fixtures and nutritional supplements because the cost of these items is seen as an extravagance given their limited income. Our trained staff is instrumental in identifying the kinds of support needed to help patients remain safe and independent during illness and recuperation.
Donated funds are used for patients who require financial assistance in three categories:
- Medical equipment and supplies (not covered by insurance). Supplies and safety equipment include, but are limited to: Bathroom grab bars, Tub seats, Hand showers, Transfer benches (in and out of tub), Raised toilet seats and Nutritional supplements
- Medications (limited supply until other funding sources can be established)
- Transportation (back to physician office for follow–up care, x-rays, and other related medical procedures)
Telemedicine is the delivery of health care from a distance. Technologies such as telephones, email, computers, interactive video, digital imaging and health care monitoring devices make it possible for clinicians to monitor, diagnose and treat patients without having to physically be with them.
Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice is at the forefront of incorporating this technology into its delivery of care. Telemonitoring and remote care management of home health patients is aimed at effective management of chronic illness, preventing hospitalizations and institutionalization. In October of 2005, Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice entered a relationship with BL Healthcare to participate in a research project to obtain patient and provider feedback on the use of the View Point System. In 2007, after extensive modifications, the Telemonitoring Initiative moved from research into practice.
View Point enables the remote monitoring and management of chronically ill patients at home over phone lines and broadband networks. Patients, including those with congestive heart failure and diabetes, are taught to use special equipment to monitor their vital signs. The measurements are transmitted via wireless technology to our clinicians’ devices for daily review. The record of measurements, including blood pressure, body weight and blood glucose levels, allows the clinician to see changes that take place between home nursing visits. This stream of data does not take the place of the two to three weekly visits normally scheduled by a skilled nurse, but it does allow closer monitoring, which enhances the management of care. Should something be identified as a problem or potential problem, the clinician can telephone, videoconference or visit the patient to help problem solve to prevent severe complications and re-hospitalization. Ultimately, Telemonitoring helps reduce return visits to the emergency room and hospital.