In early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, VA staff across the globe worked tirelessly to revamp processes and implement telehealth solutions. At the Northport VA Medical Center in New York, one new program ensured that Veterans with COVID-19 — who could be discharged — left the facility with the equipment they needed to watch their symptoms at home.
“A unique challenge of COVID was that often someone would come to the hospital, be well enough to be discharged, and then get worse. Home monitoring was important,” said Dr. Peter Avvento, internal medicine. For this new Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Telehealth (RPM-HT) program, Veterans were given a thermometer and pulse oximeter, and they were taught how to use the equipment before leaving the facility.
Along with ensuring the health and safety of Veterans after they were discharged, Dr. Avvento said the program strengthened the trust between Veterans and their providers. “It allowed the treating team to show that we care about the patient, both now and in the future.”