As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase in numbers, we continue to adjust our lives to accommodate the new world in which we all live.
Children continue to miss school. Consumers are scrambling to get home necessities. Levels of worry and stress are continuing to rise as we all come to terms with how to live somewhat “normal” during a time where nothing seems normal anymore.
Above all, though, we must remember one thing. Even though we are all potentially susceptible to testing positive for the new coronavirus, there are populations who are much more susceptible than others, and who thus need all the more protection.
Protecting Immunosuppressed Patients during COVID-19
People who are immunosuppressed must always be vigilant to protect their health, and that vigilance must extend to caregivers, as well. And everyone must be even more cautious in the era of COVID-19.
It is often assumed those that are immunocompromised are typically older with declined health, which is true. However, there are many different conditions that can also lead to being immunosuppressed, even in younger populations.
This includes people with conditions like chronic liver disease, obesity, renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes, heart diseases, HIV/AIDs, people who had their spleen removed, certain types of thyroid disease and pregnancy. Living conditions, medications and behaviors could also compromise health, such as living in a nursing homes or long-term facility, taking cancer-fighting or auto-immune drugs and malnourishment.
It's easy to understand how people with compromised immune systems may feel heightened fear and anxiety during this unprecedented time. This is where telehealth, specifically remote patient monitoring (RPM), can play a huge role.
It is imperative that immuno-suppressed patients do not engage with, or even have the opportunity to engage with, others who may have COVID-19. This new virus is especially alarming since symptoms take a few days to develop after exposure, thus allowing for the unknowing transmittal to others. COVID-19 can certainly be frightening to people who are healthy and cause them to become very sick. For immune-compromised patients, there's a risk of not only becoming very sick, but facing an even harsher outcome.
Treating COVID-19 Remotely
RPM programs such as those offered by Care Innovations allow for immunosuppressed patients to remain in their home and obtain their healthcare without exposing them to the risks of encountering COVID-19 in the community.
We should never ever have a waiting room full of immunosuppressed patients, even if it is for a very short period of time. COVID-19 is easily transmitted and risk is too high for those whose health is compromised. Our COVID-19 RPM program lets clinicians remotely monitor their patients, whether they are asymptomatic, have been exposed, or if they have tested positive.
With our COVID-19 RPM program, medical staff is also able to review biometrics and symptom questions on the clinician-friendly dashboard, to better assess and triage patients without requiring that they leave their home. All programs are available via smartphone, and also allow for video conferencing between clinician and patient.
Learn more about how to leverage telehealth and remote monitoring programs to better protect your immunosuppressed patients during the era of COVID-19: Contact us here for details.
About Lesley Mathis, RN, MSSW, MSN, ACNP-BC
Lesley is a clinical manager and has emerged as a clinical expert in remote patient monitoring specializing in solutions and protocol development of various patient populations. Prior to entering the healthcare technology industry, Lesley worked as a bedside nurse in CCU/CVICU and then became the Nurse Practitioner for the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Several years later, Lesley went to work for Care Innovations where she plays a key role in developing strategies for large payers, providers, and pharma. She is devoted to helping her customers drive critical adoption of RPM, development of unique protocols, and working on population health with the business intelligence (BI) platform at Care Innovations. Lesley is very passionate about the importance of healthcare technology and is truly an ambassador for the RPM community. Lesley earned her MSSW from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and her Master’s in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. She is a board certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.