It was a Wednesday morning in March when Amber Hill, Nurse Practitioner with SC House Calls, met via a video Telehealth call with Emily, an 82-year-old dementia patient, and her Granddaughter Dana.
A week earlier, Emily had fallen, and her injuries had required a short hospital stay. Dana, her healthcare power of attorney, quit her job when Emily was released from the hospital to become a full-time caregiver.
When the video call connected, Amber saw Emily, a neatly dressed, well-groomed woman sitting in a recliner with Dana, her Granddaughter sitting next to her on the arm of the recliner. Dana was holding the phone out in front, so they both appeared on the screen.
Dana had contacted the SC House Calls Center for Telehealth because she was worried about her Grandmother’s loss of weight and the fact that she was sleeping up to 18 hours per day. She suspected her medications were to blame and was upset with the response she received from her Grandmothers Doctor. Dana, when contacting the Primary Care office, discovered an unwillingness by the Doctor to answer questions about her Grandmothers current medications. She also learned the office was closed for appointments until the Coronavirus crisis ended. After the conversation, Dana went online and found SC House Calls, and scheduled a Telehealth visit.
Amber began reviewing Emily’s medical records, her current prescriptions, and her behavioral habits. She determined nearly half of the prescribed medications she took were for anxiety and or depression; two behaviors Dana had never seen her Grandmother exhibit. Amber was able to eliminate five of the ten medications Emily was taking and gave a clear explanation as to the purpose of each of the remaining prescriptions. Dana, relieved, thanked Amber for the information and new care plan. Before ending the call, Dana stated, “I have never felt this informed or confident about my Grandmother’s medical care, you took the time to listen to what is going on with her and explained things in a way I can understand.”