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It could be the location, distance, weather, or even staffing concerns. Regardless of the reason, sometimes reaching a patient for a simple adjustment to infusion therapy can be a time-consuming and costly proposition. With technology’s role becoming more and more important, such quick visits could become a thing of the past.
One of the more unique products on the market is MediVIEW, a software product from Skokie, IL-based Sabratek. MediVIEW, when combined with Sabratek’s 3030 or 6060 Homerun pumps, allow providers to manage a patient’s infusion using standard telephone lines. However, what is truly unique about MediVIEW is its voice-over-data technology. This allows clinicians to communicate with patients on the same phone line through which data are being transmitted.
Put patients at ease
"One of the things I like best about MediVIEW is that it is a voice-over-data modem, so you can talk to the patient or caregiver on the phone and tell them what you are doing, and they can see it on their pump at the same time," says Beth Greenough, CRNI, infusion therapy coordinator for Great Lakes Home Health Care Services in Erie, PA. "So if you tell the patient that you are going to put the pump on hold, it will say hold’ right then and there. It puts the patient at ease — especially if the pump is beeping for 30 minutes — and you can talk with them and calm them down while you are troubleshooting the pump."
Greenough says the voice-over-data technology is just one of the benefits. Because the software is set up to show the pump on your computer screen as if it were in front of you, MediVIEW makes it easy for nurses to stay acquainted with the Sabratek pumps. "Sometimes, we work with nursing agencies that are an hour and a half or two hours away, and it’s a good learning instrument for the nurses there," she explains. "Even though we go out and show them how to use the pumps, sometimes it’s a couple of months before they go out and use the pumps again. So the nurses can learn or have the reassurance of seeing what they are doing and feeling comfortable with it."
Greenough adds that once you click on the MediVIEW icon on your computer screen and type in the password — if you know how to use the Sabratek pump, then you know how to use MediVIEW. "Once you’re connected, it’s just like you have the pump in your hand," she says.
MediVIEW clearly isn’t appropriate for every patient, but has found its niche among Great Lakes’ patients. "It’s usually patient diagnosis or locality that dictates which patients we put it on," says Greenough, who notes that Great Lakes owns eight of the MediVIEW kits. "Pain management patients seem to be those with the most changes that have to be made, as well as patients who live a great distance away. Even though we probably haven’t used it as frequently as we thought we would, the times that we have used it have really been wonderful and probably worthwhile."
Although Greenough says reducing nursing visits and patient security are the two biggest benefits of MediVIEW, the technology does much more than make patients feel comfortable at home. It also can allow them to hit the road.
"We’ve had patients who for some reason or another needed to travel," says Greenough, who recalls one incident where MediVIEW was worth its weight in gold.
"One patient’s daughter was looking to go to college, and it was very important for that patient that she be a part of that experience," she says. "We felt very comfortable letting her go [to look at colleges with her daughter] knowing that she had her modem with her. She could call in and connect with us if necessary, even if she has one of the old pulse phones. That gives the patient a little bit more flexibility to move around."