Wilton Rotary Club Drummer
February 24, 2006
John asked us to start arriving earlier at meetings and talked about the "Wilton Rotary culture"... which seemed to involve a conviviality benefit for early arrivers.
We celebrated the induction of two new members by Bill Glass: Larry Schloss and Heather Klein. They are the 48th and 49th members of our club.
John announced that our St. Patrick's Day meeting will be held at the Teen Center (March 17th).
The WHS Interact Club got an award from Rotary International.
Invitations have been mailed to the 785 Wilton businesses to solicit
advertisers and sponsors in the Arts and Crafts Show booklet.
Stephanie introduced our speaker, Mary Ross, Clinical Director of Nursing & Home Care.
Mary made a presentation about interactive telehealth in homecare:
"empowering patients, decreasing hospitalizations and costs." She noted that Connecticut is 49th out of 50 states with the lowest number of nurses per capita. Telehealth can help to make nursing more efficient in communities like ours where there are not enough nurses to go around and interactive video enhances the distance experience for both nurse and patient.
Mary said that the NHC central server/monitor in the office houses 50 or so patients at a time, conveying the readings from electronic stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, etc. Patients with heart failure, diabetes, and those experiencing repeated hospitalizations and frequent need for nursing skills are candidates for telehealth.
Virtually all obstacles to implementation of telehealth have disappeared as it has been rolled out in our community. It is no longer seen as impersonal, a threat to the per deum nursing staff, as too difficult for the elderly to manage, etc. In fact, when they were polled, 54% of patients responded to the survey and 100% were happy with the service. Occasional issues with scheduling and equipment malfunction are being dealt with.
NHC only has 15 machines (can currently service only 15 patients via telehealth - the cost of a complete telehealth station for the home is $5,000. The cost of a server to handle more patients is $15,000.