By: Tiffany Rigsby, Executive Director of Advantage Medical Equipment

Advantage Medical Equipment is a full-service Durable Medical Equipment (DME) company that specializes in taking care of the needs of Transitions Hospice patients. It is our primary focus to ensure that all patients have the equipment and supplies that they need while receiving care from The Transitions Group. Our medical equipment team is available 24/7 for assistance with emergency and after-hours DME needs.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing that more people are opting to receive hospice care in their home, and this is made possible with the help of durable medical equipment, as well as great healthcare by professionals such as you all! Providing durable medical equipment to patients is one way you can greatly improve the quality of your services, make patient’s lives easier, and show patients that their comfort and safety is a top priority.

There are many categories of durable medical equipment that we provide at Advantage Medical Equipment, and it is important that those in the hospice industry understand all of the options available. Here are some common DME items used in a hospice setting that can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life: 

  • Mobility Aids are prescribed to patients who have a challenging time walking or who can’t get around well on their own. They are used to assist the patient in getting around physically. Examples Include: cane, walker, wheelchair, hoyer or sit-to-stand lifts.
  • Personal Care Aids can include items that assist a disabled, ill or elderly patient complete their daily routines. These items also aid clinical staff in doing patient care. Personal care aids can help a person get in and out of a bath or shower, use the toilet, and provide added security from falling. Examples Include: hospital beds, commode, shower chair or bench, elevated toilet seat or toilet safety frame.
  • Support Surfaces, also known as pressure reducing support surfaces, are a type of DME used for the care and prevention of pressure sores. Most of these devices reduce interface pressure by conforming to the contours of the body so that pressure is distributed over a larger surface area rather than concentrated on a more restricted site. Examples Include: low air loss mattresses, pressure redistribution foam mattress, gel overlay for mattresses,  wheelchair cushions or Roho/Star cushions. 
  • Oxygen and Respiratory Equipment can aid patients who struggle with respiratory problems. Examples Include: oxygen concentrator, backup portable tanks, nebulizer, suction machine, CPAP/BIPAP
  • Orthotics includes braces and are used to provide support to a weakened body part or joint. Orthotics are not often ordered for a hospice patient, but at times can be necessary to aid in their safety or comfort. 
Some of Advantage Medical Equipment’s outstanding staff pictured here in March of 2021. From Left to Right: Christine Brucher, Toni DeFrancisco, Theresa Engel, Judi Lopez

At Advantage Medical Equipment, we pride ourselves in being more than just a “delivery company”. Our service technicians are trained on how to appropriately set up equipment, how to train caregivers and families to safely use the DME provided, and how to provide quality assistance when problems or difficulties arise. 

Through our services, patients needing DME receive the following:

1.   Delivery appointment date/time based on their availability 

2.   A home assessment to verify the safety and use of ordered DME 

3.   Set-up of equipment and all necessary accessories/supplies

4.   Instruction:

  •  On use and operation of the DME provided
  •   Daily maintenance, if any required
  •  How to seek assistance in the case of operational failure

5.  Scheduled appointments to pick up any unneeded DME based on their availability

Whether a patient needs DME or not depends on their condition, their functionality, and the severity of their impairments. These factors will help Transitions’ interdisciplinary team determine which type of DME is best for the situation. 

It’s important to discuss DME options with all of your patients –  each person is different, and there’s no “one-size, fits-all” piece of equipment. It’s a process of learning what your patients are struggling with, and figuring out what the best options are to help them find relief from their impairments or through their disease process. AME staff is available to assist in determining the needs of each patient, and are only an email or a phone call away. With the proper medical equipment – every patient can receive care where it is most comfortable, and at AME we truly ensure that each patient gets the care that they deserve. 

For more information about Advantage Medical Equipment, please visit https://www.advantagemedicalequipment.net/