WOLFEBORO — Huggins Hospital recently started a program to monitor COVID-19 positive patients who are part of the Huggins Primary Care Network during their home-isolation period.

The purpose of this program is to provide education, monitoring, triage and guidance to individuals newly diagnosed with COVID-19.

Sometimes the condition of a COVID-positive patient can escalate quickly when they’re trying to care for themselves at home. With this program, Huggins Hospital hopes to be able to prevent serious illness, emergency department visits or hospitalization. The goal is to monitor patients and catch any escalation before it reaches critical levels as well as provide a resource to patients who are managing this process at home.

In a partnership between the Huggins Hospital’s Nurse Care Coordination Team and the Temporary Outpatient Practice Team, patients are offered this monitoring program as one of many new COVID-specific services for the community. Thanks to donations from Meredith Village Savings Bank as well as Richard and Michael Tasker, the hospital has the ability to mail eligible patients a free pulse oximeter for home monitoring of oxygen saturation levels.

More than half of the patients who tested positive at Huggins Hospital since the program began have decided to participate, and 16 of those patients were determined to be high risk for developing serious disease.

Upon entering the program, participants are given a packet of educational materials including information on how to properly isolate at home and a chart to record their oxygen readings. They will also be given the phone number for a line dedicated to the program that will connect them directly to a nurse at the hospital.

Nurses will also reach out to the participants during their 10 days of isolation to check in with the participant, assess symptoms and check oxygen saturation levels.

If you would like to donate to this program, which is provided free to patients, contact Cheryl Kimball, manager of philanthropy, at ckimball@hugginshospital.org or (603) 515-2089, or send a donation to Huggins Hospital, 240 South Main St., Wolfeboro, NH 03894.

For more information about the program, contact Megan Varhegyi, RN, director of quality and risk at mvarhegyi@hugginshospital.org or (603) 569-7581.

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