September 17, 2008

VNA’s Telehealth Expands to Montgomery County Without Missing a Beat

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Greater Philadelphia is monitoring the pulse of patients from miles away.

The VNA is introducing a new personalized telehealth service in Montgomery County for its patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Using a VNA telehealth monitor, patients measure their own blood pressure, weight, pulse and blood oxygen level. In addition, the monitor asks health questions tailored to each patient to ensure risks are fully assessed. The monitor transmits patient data and responses to the health questions directly to the VNA. A certified nurse practitioner reviews the data on a daily basis. If the data show an increased risk factor, a VNA nurse makes a house call to follow up with the patient.

"Our telehealth program is unique because it provides a new level of care -- a certified nurse practitioner monitors every patient," said Karen Alston, RN, MSN, MBA, senior vice president of home health and the chief nurse officer of the VNA. "No other provider in the area offers our degree of telehealth care."

With telehealth, patients play a more active role in managing their condition by reporting health data to the VNA. Health professionals are able manage symptoms proactively and provide treatment at the earliest sign of a problem.

"Patients using telehealth services know a medical professional is regularly monitoring their health," said Alston. "This gives them a greater sense of comfort and security."

The program also reduces scheduled house calls, giving patients more freedom to live a fuller life.

Telehealth requires a physician's order and is covered by Medicare. Patients of the VNA should contact their home care nurse about program eligibility or talk to their physician about the VNA telehealth service.

   For more about the VNA, visit    About the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia  

The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia is a leading, non-profit provider of comprehensive, 24-hour in-home and community health care to residents of Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Since 1886, the VNA has provided highly-specialized, cost effective services to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents regardless of their ability to pay. For more information on the VNA of Greater Philadelphia or the services it provides, visit

The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia

CONTACT: Brooke Neifert of Anne Klein Communications Group, LLC forThe Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, +1-856-988-6560, ext.17, [email protected]

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