During my work in the emergency room and with chronic care management and Transitional Health Care, I often run into patients who travel to Florida for the winter months to escape the cold harsh winters of the Northern states. The challenge often comes when these patients have physicians who managed their chronic conditions up North but do not have a provider in Florida. As we all know, illness and disease do not take a vacation during the winter months. So, who takes care of the patient while they are in Florida? Often the answer is “no one”. The result is these patients often and up in the local emergency room or urgent care for the chronic care management or further acute issues because of lack of chronic care management.
I ran into this exact example when I was referred by a home health agency to assist a patient who had had a hip replacement up North before coming to Florida. He had other health conditions which were no longer being addressed as he was home bound for several months. For example, how long was he is supposed to take his blood thinner after the hip replacement? He did not know this answer. Immediately postop his blood pressure was low so his primary care had decreased his blood pressure medicines. Now, during the recovery phase his blood pressure was normalizing and now even somewhat elevated. Was he is supposed to start his blood pressure medicines at the previously prescribed dose? He did not know this answer either.
With Convenient VirtuCare, we visited the patient in his home, answered all of his questions, monitored his vital signs and necessarily adjust medications as indicated. He was also experiencing some leg swelling which can be a sign of a life-threatening blood clot in his leg. We ordered an ultrasound and ruled out a blood clot in his leg as a cause of his symptoms. We also ordered home physical therapy and a home health nurse to assist with his recovery and chronic care management. #chronic care management, #In-home care, #hip replacement, #telemedicine, #snowbirds