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Telehealth: Look outside the box

Telehealth: Look outside the box

Q. How can I grow my home ventilation program? 

A. In part 1 of this series, I talked about “raising some eyebrows in a good way.” The topic was remote PAP setups. Let’s continue with remote ventilator follow-ups. The RT labor shortage has hit HME companies particularly hard, so looking “outside the box” for solutions is certainly a good idea. 

Removing barriers to success is essential for providing telehealth in the home setting. This is important whether you are using your RT staff to perform the remote visits or seeking outside assistance. Telehealth can provide the HME company with the tools necessary to remotely provide ongoing follow-ups with non-invasive and invasive ventilator care. I suggest using a simple video chat solution that is HIPAA-compliant without having to download an app or having patient usernames, passwords etc.  

Speaking of video-chat, the ability to visualize the customer’s equipment and environment is beneficial when performing routine follow-up on the ventilation services you are providing. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes to mind. Assessing and troubleshooting is much easier when you don’t have to rely on verbal descriptions.  

Outsourcing a ventilation follow-up process allows for your protocols to be followed without having to worry about finding and hiring RTs. Let your staff take care of other business and allow for convenient virtual visits for routing follow-ups. Your customers and caregivers may find the remote visits less intrusive, simpler and easier to schedule. 

While the pandemic has given us a lot of problems, it has also provided opportunities. Growing your ventilation program fearlessly is now possible with tele-respiratory therapists and technology. 

Curt Merriman is chief sales officer for rtNow. Reach him at


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