After we have initial contact with you determining your needs, a nurse will make the initial visit to your home and with you/your caregivers and physician assistance, to develop a plan of care specifically tailored to your needs. Other services may be offered to you based on what you, the nurse and your physician feel would benefit you. In addition to nursing care, we also have Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, a Medical Social Worker and Certified Nursing Assistants available to assist you in reaching the goal of staying independent in your home!
Nursing interaction may occur for many reasons. We’ve listed some examples of how Colorado Health Connections can assist you below. This is certainly not an inclusive list. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, just give us a call to discuss your specific needs.
Medication Reconciliation pairs a Nurse with you or your loved one to provide review and education on medication actions/side effects/interactions/ and importance of ordered compliance. Coordination with the ordering Physician includes documentation of active medications and dosages being taken. Caregiver assistance with various medication delivery systems, i.e. medication planners or electronic delivery systems, along with education, will be provided to improve medication compliance. The goal of this program is a reduction in hospitalizations related to improper medication management, whether this is related to an undesirable drug interaction or non-compliance with ordered medication regimen due to confusion regarding the necessity or action of the ordered drug or inability to afford the medication.
Pulmonary diagnosis including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is now used congruently with Emphysema can be limiting to our lifestyles, but with proper education from a nurse on pulmonary hygiene, energy conservation, oxygen use and precautions, medication assessment for efficacy and coordination with the primary physician can result in respiratory stability and increase the independent functioning of yourself and loved ones. All patients receive a pulse oximetry in order to monitor their oxygen levels which is a significant response indicator to ordered treatments.
Diabetes Mellitus whether a new or ongoing diagnosis can and will always benefit from fine-tuning your personal program; researching with your nurse and physician new technologies and medications to better control your Type 1 or II diabetes. All of our clients are gifted with a glucometer for blood sugar monitoring; the undeniably most important intervention any person with diabetes can own and use to manage their diabetes through the blood sugar results. Medication review and education, dietary management coupled with exercise (which can be developed for all ability levels) and HgA1c venipuncture are the tools you will need to take better control and manage your diabetes on an independent basis with an outcome of decreasing vision, circulatory and kidney complications.
Wound Care is one of the specialties of Colorado Health Connections. We are fortunate to have two Wound Care Certified Nurses on staff. We have a long history with the wound care centers in the Denver and surrounding areas and our nurses, with their extensive knowledge regarding wound care, have made us a leader in this arena of care. Our outcomes are excellent in healing those long-term “forever” wounds that are just so sluggish to heal. We communicate frequently with the Doctors on the various protocols used in this area of care and frequently change therapies to jump-start the healing process.
Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy professionals are available to assist and educate you in any home care episode. They all have multiple specialties that enhance and strengthen your ability to remain safe, feeling secure in your abilities in your own home. Once your home care episode is completed, if you, your loved ones or physician feel that continued therapy would benefit your rehabilitation, the therapist with Colorado Health Connections will work with you and your physician to make the transition to the outpatient clinic as seamless as possible without an interruption in your care.
Occupational Therapy concentrates on fine motor control. These therapists specialize in assessing a patients ability to independently and safely perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as bathing or showering, grooming, (including washing or styling your hair, brushing your teeth), dressing both your upper and lower body and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) such as meal preparation and eating. Again, there are so many tools available to us all that can assist us in these duties that conserve energy and strength for the bigger tasks of the day. The Occupational Therapist works closely with out Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) which can be ordered by the physician to assist the patient with all of the above duties on a short term basis. Having a licensed CNA for a short period of time can bring a lot of security to not only the patient but the family members as well as they are very skilled in all transferring techniques as well as bed, bath and shower assistance, grooming, hair and oral care and dressing.
Cardiovascular disease management programs would include Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) management with documented daily weights (with the scale provided by CHC if one is not available or working), and sliding scale medications ordered by the physician to control fluid overload, preventing hospitalization. Atrial fibrillation or valve replacement surgery typically requires long term anticoagulants, which require venipuncture blood monitoring to ensure that the medication dose reflects the therapeutic range. Cardiac rehabilitation would include this monitoring along with invaluable education to the patient on lifestyle changes, exercise and medicinal management.
Neurological nursing management would be beneficial for those individuals who are living with MS, Parkinson’s disease, or have suffered a Cerebrovascular accident with resultant difficulty in problem or process solving, talking, swallowing or have paralysis in a hemisphere of the body or specific limb. Referrals are made from the Nursing assessment for professionals specializing in Physical, Occupational or Speech therapy.
Tele-Touch is a program that was developed with our patient wellness in mind. This program is tailor made for the person with any of the above mentioned illnesses or a combination of them. The patient is knowledgeable and compliant with all ordered care but does not have the necessary equipment in order for them to measure or record the efforts not only they make to manage the illness or disease but the medications that their physician orders. A kit is provided to the patient consisting of a scale for daily weights, a wrist blood pressure cuff that also monitors the pulse rate, a pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation level monitoring and a glucometer to monitor those blood sugars with. Depending on the condition being monitored, all or part of these devices would be delivered to the patient, with follow-up education and monitoring on the use and recording of the daily results. The results of the test are faxed to your primary physician or specialist on a weekly basis so that they are able to partner with you for potential changes in your medication programs to meet your current health needs.
Infusion Therapy is another offering we provide. The intake department at Colorado Health Connections will coordinate with the infusion company providing the hydration fluid/drug and supplies so that our nurse arrives in time for your scheduled dose of medication. All efforts will be made to teach you or your caregiver the technique of infusing the medication. We know that you cherish your time in your home while recuperating and we do not want to wear out our welcome. We will maintain the infusion site whether it is a PICC line, central line or implanted port and are happy to obtain the venipuncture in your home that the physician may order while on infusion therapy.
Physical Therapy concentrates on muscle rehabilitation. If you or your loved one are feeling weakened due to illness, your walking gait is stooped, shuffling or off balance and you have an increased fear of falling, this professional can work with you and your family on a specialized Home Exercise Program (HEP) tailored to your needs that will address not only safe transfers and navigation of your home, but also an additional assessment will be made for any equipment that could substantially improve your functionality and safety in the home. Falls are a real threat to all of us. As we age our bones lose density and strength and a fall can be catastrophic resulting in a fractured or broken bone. Home Safety Evaluations are quick and easy in the grand scheme of things. Get one done today and reduce the chance of injury in your home related to a fall!
• Physical Therapy also can educate people with COPD, Emphysema or Pneumonia on energy conservation techniques to maximize your get up and go. With these illnesses, strength is sapped so quickly with a simple walk across a room or up a short flight of stairs. There are many things a therapist can educate you on that will maximize your energy level, giving you that “I can do it” attitude.
• The Physical Therapists of Colorado Health Connections are in a league of their own when it comes to care after joint replacement surgery. We are the primary and only company that many of the joint replacement surgeons in the Denver area will use. They are emphatic about proper care and protocols after this surgery and our therapists are the ones chosen time and again to begin the rehabilitative process. Based on the individual physician protocols for the type of surgery performed, the therapist works closely with the patient developing the joint specific HEP, educating on precautions and physician protocols, pain management, equipment use and operation and assisting in the referral to Out Patient Therapy (OPT) once the home care therapy is completed. Historically, our patients are so surprised on how quickly they not only get up and around with our therapist assistance, but onto OPT and a resumption of their life prior to surgery.
Speech Therapy addresses swallowing, communication and cognitive impairments. Swallow disorders are called dysphagia, and dysphagia results from some other disease/disorder/condition. The main concern with individuals with a swallowing disorder is aspiration of food, liquids or saliva into the lungs that can lead to pneumonia. Dysphagia is commonly seen in individuals who have:
Had a stroke
Have Parkinson’s Disease
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Head/neck cancer following radiation/chemotherapy
Traumatic Brain Injury
The general goal of dysphagia treatment is to allow the individual to consume the least restrictive food and/or liquid textures while decreasing the risk of food and/or liquid accumulation in the lungs. Dysphagia treatment may include:
Exercises to increase muscle strength in the face and neck to decrease/eliminate dysphagia
Strategies to decrease dysphagia and associated risks which may include postural adjustments, diet texture modifications, and /or liquid texture modifications.
Communication impairments include speech and language difficulties. Speech impairments can manifest as difficulty with functional muscle movement in the face, neck and/or lungs, which is necessary for speech production and acquired language disorders (aphasia) that can occur in expressive and receptive language skills.
Expressive language difficulties can include:
Various types of Aphasia
Difficulty finding words or the name of a word (anomia)
Difficulty sequencing words in a meaningful way
Addition/substitution of unnecessary words/phrases
Halting speech patterns
Repeating a particular word/phrase/sentence (perseveration)
Significant difficulties in written language skills
Receptive language difficulties can include:
Various types of Aphasia
Difficulty understanding what others say
Difficulty following directions
Using words that have no real meaning in the individual’s language
Difficulty answering yes/no questions
Difficulties in reading skills and comprehending what one read
Cognitive impairments which are very common after a stroke, traumatic brain injury or with dementia include many treatment areas which may include short- or long-term memory skills, attention and problem-solving skills, judgement and safety awareness.