For further information, contact:
Shari Worthington, PR Counsel, +1 508-755-5242
Tim Shimer, President & CEO, +1 215-822-3231
Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare Partners with Hope Hospice to Provide
Home-Bound Patients with Remote Access to Professional Staff
24x7 service will improve care, increase comfort and support for terminally
patients and their families
Arlington, VA (December 3, 2001) - Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare
(TSH), a rapidly growing provider of telehealth management services across the
US, announced at the NHPCO Management and Leadership Conference that the company
has signed a letter of intent with Hope Hospice of Fort Myers, Florida, to provide
terminally ill patients and their families with remote access to hospice professionals
from their homes. Under the agreement, TSH will recommend and implement a videophone
service that will bring greater physical and emotional comfort to hospice patients
while improving the ability of hospice staff to handle unexpected events. The
"video visits" will supplement regular home visits and be available
around the clock.
"Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be very frightening,"
explained Samira Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Hospice. "The videophone
service will help us provide education and support to strengthen the ability
of family members to care for a patient at home, while feeling confident and
in control. For their part, terminally ill patients are typically very concerned
about being a burden on family members. Knowing that this type of service is
available to assist home caregivers will help put patients' minds at ease and
make a stressful situation more bearable."
As technical consultant for the Hope Hospice telecare program, TSH will be
responsible for recommending equipment, conducting training, assisting in the
implementation, conducting training, and providing ongoing support for a network
that is expected to serve hundreds of home-bound hospice patients. TSH will
also help Hope Hospice identify additional areas where videphone technology
can further enhance patient care.
Hospice Care Meets Video Communications
Whenever there is an unexpected change in condition, Hope Hospice patients
or family members will be able to use a videophone to contact the nurse on call,
who is equipped with her own unit. The videophone provides capabilities not
available with a standard telephone, such as the ability to view changes in
a patient's appearance. A nurse can also use a videophone to demonstrate a procedure
and see if it is being done correctly. Another benefit is the ability to detect
problems with equipment - for example, if an IV pump is beeping, the camera
could show that the tubing is crimped. Finally, the ability to make eye contact
with patients and family members is perhaps the most important benefit of all,
providing much needed reassurance and emotional support.
In addition to providing patients with direct access to a hospice nurse, the
videophone also allows face-to-face contact with a team of hospice professionals.
Depending on the problem, the nurse can pass the video call to a physician,
psychologist, or other care provider. The nurse can also use the video capability
to determine whether an emergency physical visit is necessary. The result is
more effective management of patient care.
"This technology helps remove the sense of isolation faced by many terminally
ill patients and their families," said Tim Shimer, Chief Executive Officer
for TSH. "The units are as easy to use as a regular telephone, while providing
the huge advantage of visual communication. In a home hospice setting, where
a patient's physical condition and emotional state can change suddenly, this
added dimension dramatically improves the ability of a hospice organization
to deliver quality care."
State of Florida to Provide Funding
The State of Florida is providing Hope Hospice with a major appropriation to
fund the project. Hope Hospice will serve as a model for other Florida hospice
organizations and healthcare providers that are interested in utilizing videophone
technology to enhance patient care.
About Hope Hospice
Hope Hospice & Palliative Care (Fort Meyers, Florida) is a not-for-profit,
community-based health care organization serving patients and their families
dealing with life-limiting illness. Its extensive services provide care, comfort,
and support to people living with complex needs and issues related to end-of-life.
Hope Hospice operates residential facilities and provides home care services
to over 500 patients daily in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties in southwest
About Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare, LLC
Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare is a telehealth management company providing
integrated, comprehensive telemedicine programs to a variety of healthcare providers.
Its experienced senior management team offers seasoned abilities to identify
program opportunities, select appropriate equipment and training, resolve legal
and regulatory issues, prepare and assist in grant-writing opportunities, and
maintain an on-going management relationship with an implemented tele-health
program. TSH's goals are to reduce startup time and costs for such programs
and continue to lead the way for organizations attempting to navigate the telemedicine
labyrinth. The company can be reached at 215-822-3231 or via e-mail at .
For further information, contact:
Tim Shimer, Chief Executive Officer
Telemedicine Solutions in Healthcare
39 Deerpath Road
Chalfont, PA 18914
Fax: +1 215-822-6086
Bob Johnson, Director of Special Projects
9470 HealthPark Circle
Fort Meyers, FL 33908
Shari Worthington, President
49 Midgley Lane
Worcester, MA 01604 USA
Fax: +1 508-795-1636