Residential Nurse Alert to the Rescue
Even when patients recognize they need help, that doesn’t mean they know exactly what to ask for. Nobody is an expert when facing a new health care challenge; this is why investigating, asking questions, and getting advice from well-versed professionals is so beneficial. But if something arises suddenly, such as a fall in the home, patients may not know what to request — they only know that help is needed. Savvy patients and caregivers find someone to turn to who does know what assistance to seek, and can help them get it.
One patient had previously trusted his care to Residential, so when he began a new plan of care with his Residential Home Health Care Team, he didn’t expect to discover an unanticipated benefit. Read on to learn how Residential Nurse Alert responded swiftly to connect him to the service he needed, and how the patient’s care team used the incident to thoroughly inform their follow-up care.
At age 62, this returning Residential patient had a primary diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as secondary concerns including high blood pressure and anxiety. After a recent hospitalization and period of rehabilitation, the patient was ready to transition back home with his wife, who was also his primary caretaker. The patient’s plan of care was to include physical therapy to address strength, stability, and range of motion, as well as nursing to monitor recovery and tend to wounds on his shin and big toe. During the transition from rehab to home, the patient was issued a Residential Nurse Alert mobile emergency response system and was encouraged to push the button anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
While at home, with his next scheduled visit a few days away, the patient had a fall. Although he was uninjured, he was not able to get back up, either by himself or with his wife’s help. But his Residential Nurse Alert button was right at hand, and he quickly pushed it for assistance. The responding triage nurse asked questions to learn about the patient’s health status, the fall itself, and any injuries. In this case, the triage nurse was confident that emergency medical services (EMS) were not required. Rather, a sturdy boost should be all that the patient needed to get upright and back to normal.
Just the Ticket
Well-versed in medical services and emergency situations, the Residential Nurse Alert triage nurse had the benefit of expertise. She immediately thought of a resource the patient did not know about: a service called ‘lift assist,’ which is performed by local fire departments. The triage nurse explained to the patient that in cases where people are uninjured but unable to safely move themselves, firefighters can be dispatched to a patient’s home to help. She also initiated the service call with his neighborhood fire department.
Firefighters were quick to respond, and the patient was safely lifted, without any sign of injury. With no further medical attention needed, the lift assist was the right call, without an unnecessary ambulance call or hospital visit.
The triage nurse recognized that the patient’s fall could have been related to some aspect of his condition. For example, his rheumatoid arthritis might have compromised mobility, or the wound on his toe could have played a role. She recommended a follow-up visit with a Residential Home Health Care Team member ahead of schedule, and the patient agreed. The triage nurse entered a request for a visit the next day, to check on the patient and discuss home safety and his specific fall risk. Because having numerous prescribed medications to take can also contribute to falls, the triage nurse also recommended that the clinician review the patient’s medications. Things were set into motion to improve safety and prevent future falls, no matter what the cause.
Although this patient used Residential Nurse Alert for support after a fall, this exclusive mobile response system can be used for any reason, day or night:
- Emergency situations
- Questions regarding hospital discharge instructions or medications
- Help with scheduling physician appointments
- Assistance with transportation
- Questions for your primary care physician
- Health concerns or any other reason
Residential Nurse Alert provides patients with Anytime-Anywhere-Anything access to their care team. Non-patients can also use the service to connect with Residential’s clinical team. In 2014, more than 300 probable hospital admissions were avoided with this system. For more information, click the link below, or call (888)930-WELL (9355) to speak with a nurse.