Samaritan touts success of Home Health program

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WATERTOWN — Samaritan Home Health in February launched its telehealth Hospital Re-admissions Reduction Program and officials say they’ve seen rousing success among participants this year.

The program is for people with congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and aims to reduce readmission within 30 days of discharge from the hospital by providing at-home care for participants.

“Patients who have been discharged from the hospital, or who have been referred by their physician, and are eligible for our Home Health services, benefit from this program,” said Stephanie Parks, Samaritan Home Health’s director of patient services.

Lee Filkins, whose wife Kim has congestive heart failure, called the program “very helpful” for what it has done for him as caretaker for his wife and said “the community should really know” what the program is and what it does for patients.

Mr. Filkins said that the program “took the stress off” and let him focus on taking care of his wife without worrying about trying to get her to the hospital for a checkup. Samaritan sends an occupational therapist, physical therapist and nurse on alternating days to his house to keep his wife from having to be readmitted to the hospital.

“They give us equipment to monitor her. They gave me a little computer and I plug all them in and that goes directly to them,” Mr. Filkins said. “If I put a vital in and it’s in the green, we just keep on doing what we’re doing. If it’s in the yellow, then we should call the doctor and they might make an adjustment, and if it’s in the red, then usually we’re getting phone calls from them and they’ll come out here and assess, because they’re authorized to give her a medication or draw blood to fix the problem without her going into the hospital.”

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