provide Health-Watch systems
St. Mary’s Hospital and Clearwater Valley Hospital currently monitor over 100 in-home personal response systems for people of all ages living in their service areas. The Home Health staff at each facility install the system in the user’s home and work with the Florida based company to provide upkeep and continuous monitoring.
The Health Watch Company was established in 1986 and currently partners with over one thousand hospitals, home care agencies and municipalities, nationwide.
“We began contracting with Health Watch in 1998 because we wanted to provide a service to the aging population. We knew many people were living alone and wanted to remain independent, yet worried about their safety should they have a fall or accident and not be able to reach the phone,” said Shawn Severson, RN, Home Health Director. “The systems have become very popular because they provide security, not only for the client, but the family, as well. We install and maintain the systems for anyone interested. They do not necessarily have to be a Home Health patient.”
A Health Watch user wears a pendant with a push button either around their neck, their wrist or clipped to their belt. When the button is pushed it activates a console which automatically dials the Toll Free Response Center in Florida. The user can be in a different room and as far away as 200 feet from the console. If the user is able to communicate with the operator, he or she can describe the problem and the operator helps resolve it by calling the local 911 service if it’s an emergency or by calling one of the people listed on the user’s information sheet. If there is no response from the user, the Response Center contacts local emergency personnel.
For non emergency situations the user lists a family member or close neighbor who can respond to a call from the Response Center. That person can check on the user to make sure they are okay.
“We receive a print out each day of the calls that the Response Center receives from our areas and the results from the system’s daily self test,” said Severson. “It helps us monitor the person’s safety and ensures that the system is functioning properly at all times. ”
Another component of the Health Watch program is a separate device to help automatically notify the Response Center about falls. The Fall Detector wakes from ‘stand by’ mode if its first sensor detects a rapid change in the person’s physical orientation. Then, if its’ second sensor detects an impact from a fall the device beeps to let the person know it has registered an emergency and sends an alarm signal to the Response Center.
“We know by providing this service for the people in this area we are helping families and users feel more secure and allowing more people to remain independent for as long as possible,” said Severson
For more information about home health services or a brochure about the Health Watch System call St. Mary’s Home Health, 962.3251 or Clearwater Valley Home Health 476.8027 or 1.800.497.7412 or visit the Health Watch website, www.health-watch.com