Breath-by-Breath Care

OUR NON-INVASIVE VENTILATION PROGRAM

At Frontier Home Medical, our NIV program is built to be just that – a comprehensive therapy program. We provide equipment and expertise, but we go beyond that. Frontier focuses heavily on educating patients on respiratory impairment, therapy compliance and how home ventilation can improve our patients’ quality of life. Our goal is to hold ourselves to a higher standard of patient care. In doing so, we ensure every effort optimizes therapy quickly, maximizes benefit and lowers hospital readmissions.

We achieve our goal through: 

  • On-going patient education
  • Regularly scheduled follow-up visits with patients
  • Weekly compliance checks by experiences respiratory therapists
  • 24/7 on-call staff ensuring patients have the necessary support when needed

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Introducing patients to NIV and their need for home ventilation begins during our initial interaction with the patient and continues with our initial face-to-face visit. At that time, we provide patients with a comprehensive guide to home ventilation therapy. The in-depth content covers specific respiratory disorders, the advantages and goals of using home ventilation therapy, maintenance of supplies, travel tips and compliance requirements. Patients are also provided with a step-by-step device manual with colorful pictures outlining assembly of their equipment, steps taken before starting therapy, stopping therapy and how to respond to alarms.

COMPLIANCE & FOLLOW UP

After the initial set-up is complete, our therapists—in combination with our PAP compliance specialist, monitor patients closely for subjective and objective improvements. We help patients understand that improving their overall well-being starts with consistent usage of their device. As therapists, we know that maximizing compliance starts with maximizing patient comfort. Thus, we make regularly scheduled follow-up visits with patients via telephone or face-to-face, which is a high priority to address any concerns patients may have with therapy settings or equipment-related issues. Our follow-up visits are done routinely—at 24 to 48 hours, seven days, one month, two months, three months post set-up, every 90 days and as needed thereafter, so as the ordering provider, you can rest assured knowing that your patient is adequately cared for. Upon completion of each 90-day visit, physicians and practitioners are provided with assessment notes and compliance reports on their patients. 

BIPAP VS. NIV

To any provider considering BiPAP (or BiLevel) therapy for home use, it is essential to know that a more reliable therapy option for your patient with chronic hypercapnia and/or respiratory failure is available. Standard BiPAP devices utilize fixed pressures to deliver a target tidal volume; however, the actual volume delivered can often be very inconsistent and is not guaranteed, potentially resulting in an exacerbation, hospitalization or both. This especially becomes true as patients’ conditions change over time. On the other hand, NIV guarantees either a set tidal volume or minute ventilation is delivered to the patient by utilizing a “pressure range” instead, ensuring that as patients’ ventilation needs change, they will continue to be met—guaranteed. 

DEDICATION TO CARE

Having worked in a variety of healthcare settings over the past decade, I believe that education is vital to providing the best care possible and ensuring the best quality of life. This has never been more true to me as of last year when my father underwent an emergent mitral valve repair that was close to being fatal. During his recovery, I witnessed firsthand the impact that in-depth patient education, as well as proper therapy management and support, can have on patient outcomes. My father is doing great and continues to thrive thanks to all of his providers who took the time to educate and support him to this day. Educating and supporting have become the foundation of our program here at Frontier. As providers, we make recommendations to our patients every day who trust us to ensure their well-being and I assume their trust in me as a personal responsibility. That’s why developing strong, trusting relationships is the foundation of everything I do, both professionally and personally. When it comes to NIV and the impact it can have on patients’ lives, such as being able to walk up a full flight of stairs for the first time in 7 years or being able to garden again without getting short of breath, my promise to every patient we care for or provider we work with is your support and clinical expertise is always just a phone call away. 

Written By:

Brandon Baker, BS, RRT

Brandon is Frontier’s Respiratory Disease Manager specializing primarily in Non-Invasive Ventilation. He previously worked in EMS as a paramedic for 10 years, as an adjunct EMS instructor for 2 years and a hospital respiratory therapist.

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