Susan Parrish
The La Grande Observer

Grande Ronde Hospital has partnered with a California telemonitoring company to provide a new service to benefit its most fragile patients. The service allows medical professionals to check vital signs of patients at home in remote areas without having to make a house call or having the patient make a long journey to the hospital.

QOLPOM is an at-home remote monitoring service. It is an acronym for Quality of Life-Peace of Mind. A subsidiary of Parallax Health Sciences, Inc., of Santa Monica, California, it provides technology for comprehensive, next generation telehealth delivery service, said Mardi Ford, public information officer for GRH.

The system can monitor patients who have internet capability in the hospital’s service area. Actual patient internet service is not required. The bluetooth-enabled device, called the 2net hub, plugs into an electrical outlet in the patient’s home and transmits encrypted medical data via a cellular telephone network. Back at the hospital, medical professionals monitor the patient’s medical data.

“This project is in its infancy, so we have only a few devices in homes at this time,” said Tammy Winde, manager of the hospital’s Patient Centered Care program.

“The device gives us an opportunity to monitor daily vital signs and blood sugars for select patients who suffer from heart disease and diabetes,” said Selina Shaffer, the hospital’s BSN, RN care manager. “This is helpful when the patient’s condition rapidly changes, giving providers a chance to intervene in a timely manner.”

So far, the hospital has placed devices in patient homes to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, O2 saturation, weight and glucose. Vitals are transmitted via bluetooth to a secure web portal, where the hospital’s clinic case management staff monitors trends and reports to the patient’s doctor.

See complete story in Friday's Observer