The St. Nicholas Hospital Home Health Department will be the first home care agency in Sheboygan County to offer electronic and digital oversight of wound care patients by a satellite site and credentialed specialists. Using telecommunications technologies, Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information. It is as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as sophisticated as using videoconferencing between providers at facilities in two countries. Telehealth encompasses preventive, promotive and curative aspects.
St. Nicholas Hospital will employ a format called store-and-forward telehealth. Digital images, video, audio and clinical data are captured and ‘stored’ on the field nurse’s computer, and then transmitted via a secure line, to the St. Nicholas Hospital Comprehensive Wound Care Center where they are studied by specialists and their input is provided. St. Nicholas Hospital will use a computer program by McKesson called Horizon Homecare Wound Advisor. It is an integrated disease management solution for centralized and in-home care that extends the reach of wound specialists, helping lead to higher-quality wound care for home health patients. To launch the programme, Mary Verhage, a registered nurse and clinical coordinator of the St. Nicholas Hospital Comprehensive Wound Care Center, worked closely with the Home Health Department. A home health case manager will take photos once a week of wounds for patients in the home health program. The staff at clinic would be able to view the photos of the wounds of the patients, if the wounds have become worse, and provide consultation to the home care nurse.