Technology Extends Nurses Reach For Home Healthcare Patients

Technology Extends Nurses Reach For Home Healthcare Patients

The Verizon Foundation is leveraging its company's experience with leading-edge technology to help healthcare providers increase their efficiency, effectiveness and reach. On March 18, support of a two-year, telenursing pilot program at the College of New Rochelle's School of Nursing was announced.

Students in the college's home healthcare nursing curriculum will use telenursing technology - an Internet connection and a video, voice and data communication telemonitoring set attached to a TeleStation - to connect with computerized "clients" or "caregivers."

The connection allows clients or their caregivers to measure vital signs, heart rhythm and other important health data while at home and transfer the results via the Internet to the healthcare manager. This technology can take the place of a home visit and notify the healthcare provider when a visit is needed.

The Verizon Foundation's $50,000 grant will help nursing students master the new technology and promote its use to provide access to better home healthcare. Clients and their families will also learn how to use technology to access reliable healthcare information.

The World Health Organization said that reliable health information is potentially the single most cost-effective and achievable strategy for sustainable improvement in healthcare. Providing a link to that information via technology is especially critical at a time when the number of people requiring home health services is growing rapidly. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that those 65 and older who need home health services by 2030 will reach 14.4 million people - or 20 percent of the population.

"We believe programs like this can help promote real and lasting change in the healthcare system by using the power of technology to support providers, serve patients and improve the health and well being of our communities," said Patrick Gaston, Verizon Foundation president, who presented the check to the dean of the School of Nursing.

"We are proud to partner with the College of New Rochelle on this innovative program that is setting a national precedent for using technology to increase access to nursing care for the burgeoning home health population."

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