Home of Guiding Hands (HGH) operates thirty-one residential care
facilities for developmentally disabled children, adolescents and adults
dispersed throughout the community. A nurse is responsible for three
to five homes, each home having four to six residents. The nurses are
on call 24/7/365 and must physically visit a home to evaluate a patient
upon the occurrence of a medical incident. For the usability trial two
HGH residences have WiFi and an Apple® iPod Touch® with the telmedx
telemedicine application installed. Residential caregivers call the
responsible nurse who initiates a video session via a Web browser at
home. They can see the resident's condition, evaluate whether they need
to travel to the residence, as well as give care direction. This
procedure reduces the workload burden on the nurses and resident
caregivers, and shortens the time for care delivery to the residents.
At least one potential Emergency Room visit was eliminated in the first
two weeks of the trial.