BreatheTV Episode 18
Putnam County Hospital | Using Vapotherm to Improve Patient Experience
Sharon Nicoson, ACNP-BC: For a critical access hospital, we deal with a lot of folks who are used to staying in this community for their day to day activities and anything they do in their lives.
Anthony Heavin, MD: Unfortunately Putnam County, one of their claim to fame is we have a high smoking population. COPD, emphysema patients are a large proportion of our patient population.
Craig Johnson, DO, AAFP: Our pressure ventilation masks and apparatuses were out of date and we needed more of them. One of the respiratory therapists that works at another hospital said “people are starting to use Vapotherm. It works well for COPD.”
Sharon: My burning question was “well what does it do for the Ph. What does it do for the PCO2? Show me the numbers, show me the improvements.
Anthony: You know, I was asking a lot of questions and I said “hey, can I just try one of these on?” I remember, when I first put it on, I’m like, I’m gonna try to keep my mouth closed, I’m wanna see how much, … you can’t! I mean, it clears that dead space very rapidly.
Sharon: What eventually kind of pushed me over the edge was the study showing the comparison between Vapotherm and another pressure supported device. We as a hospitalist team felt this was the right direction to go.
Dennis Weatherford: When we were evaluating the Vapotherm technology versus the other methodologies, part of what we looked at was the patient experience and from all of our research, patients seem to have a better sense of satisfaction with that technology as opposed to the other modalities. So the patient experience is probably more important from the patient perspective. Especially in a rural setting, their ability to recommend the facility, their experience that they go away with, that kind of wow factor of exceeding their expectations. Those are the types of things, that word of mouth marketing, to their friends, neighbor and family of “I went to Putnam County Hospital and it was a wonderful experience.” Those are they types of things that drive volume and those are the types of things that keep patients local.
Anthony: In addition to obviously your initial treatments and physical examination, kind of the first thing I do is jump just straight to Vapotherm.
Travis Stepro, RRT, RPFT: It is a viable option to pressure based therapies and I just thing the patient experience is much better. It was the first day of training and actually we had this patient and it was the patient that was going to be tubed. And the clinical ed person was here and the sales rep and they said “we can help you.” We got it on the patient and she avoided intubation and if we would not have had it, if they would not have been here that day, she would have been tubed and transferred. So we kept her three or four days, and she transferred to rehab without, you know without being on the vent.
Anthony: We’ve had really good luck with kind of turning all these patients around so far with just Vapotherm.
Patient: I got thank him for using it on me cause I didn’t know I was that bad.
Craig: You were really out of it. You were sick and we were thinking about putting a tube down your throat, but you and your family didn’t want to do that in the past so we decided to do this Vapotherm. You really progressed back to using just oxygen.
Patient: I didn’t have to worry about trying to breathe it in.
Craig: It just came in. I’m just happy that you’re alive you made it here, I get to give you another hug. Thanks for your time.
Patient: Oh, we can just hug it all out/hug and hug and hug.
Craig: This worked out great and she’ll have more opportunities to see her family and see people and get more hugs.