Home Care Video Visits Help Patients Heal
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many services are delivered. From ordering your groceries on an app to checking in with your physician online, we are using technology to continue our way of life while respecting physical distance recommendations.
Now OSF Home Care is bridging the COVID-19 gap by seeing patients using video visits. OSF Home Care providers typically go out to the patients’ own homes to provide nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or social work support.
Now these providers are creating meaningful touchpoints with patients by providing many of these services virtually.
“The more we can see our patients, talk with them, see how they’re doing, the better we are able to provide care for them,” remarked Kerri Wiles, clinical rehab supervisor for OSF Home Care.
The more we can see our patients, talk with them, see how they’re doing, the better we are able to provide care for them.
Wiles has been using the video visit platform to provide physical therapy for her patient, 91-year-old Joan Ehmann. Ehmann fell and fractured her hip in late February. She is now staying in a skilled nursing facility as she recovers, with a goal of returning to her independent apartment soon.
Because Ehmann’s facility currently has a strict no visitor policy in place, Wiles has turned to video visits to get Ehmann the care she needs.
“If it weren’t for the video or the phone contacts, she would just not be getting any therapy,” explained Wiles. “And for someone who has had a hip fracture, that could be detrimental to miss out on your therapy for that long of a period of time. So this is a way for us to make sure she is getting the therapy she needs.”
Wiles has conducted four video therapy sessions with Ehmann, and has maintained regular contact over the phone between visits.
Wiles says she has seen tremendous improvement from Ehmann, who during their first video visit needed assistance to stand and while walking.
“She is now walking completely independently with her walker without any assistance. Her walking is steady, her gait pattern is very smooth and has normalized. We have seen great improvements in her ability to stand, bear weight on her leg, improvements in her strength as well,” Wiles said.
OSF Home Care video visits run the gamut of care possibilities, from nursing and therapy to social work. At the end of the day, Wiles says creating these meaningful touch points not only benefits her patients physically, but mentally as well.
“A lot of people are home, they’re on quarantine, they’re very lonely,” remarked Wiles. “So to be able to have that video visit, to be able to have that face-to-face contact with some people is very important and very meaningful to them.”
Video visits are available for many OSF HealthCare services and specialties. Patients should check with their providers to see if video visits are right for them. To learn more about OSF HealthCare Home Care Services, click here.
Video Visit Tips for Patients:
- Find a quiet, private location with enough light.
- Consider using a headset for the best sound quality.
- Make sure your device is plugged in or charged with enough battery for the visit.
- Make sure your speakers are unmuted and also that your volume level is set appropriately. You can also adjust the volume at the bottom of the video visit window.
- Consider having someone present with you to hold/position camera if needed.
- It may also be helpful to have access to your insurance card and any medications.
- Plan to log into your video visit a few minutes before your scheduled appointment start time to begin the e-check in process.