Massachusetts-based hospice provide Care Dimensions has reduced its average 30-day hospital readmissions rate to 1.38% during the course of one year for patients who are enrolled in the company’s telehealth program.
Care Dimensions has worked in concert with technology company Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) to expand its program to a higher number of patients. The hospice assesses each patient who has a cardiac or respiratory diagnosis, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or congestive heart failure for eligibility for telehealth services, which is designed to provide an extra layer of patient and family support in addition to home visits.
“The use of telehealth has enabled our team to personalize care to each patients’ needs and provide daily updates to the patient’s care team,” said Lisbet Sanchez, specialty programs manager for Care Dimensions, said. “We are looking forward to expanding the use of virtual visit calls to manage patient symptoms and assist in providing recommendations for the patient’s care plan.”
The hospice provides participating patients with a 4G tablet with the HRS software pre-loaded, as well as Bluetooth biometric monitoring devices. The devices monitor blood pressure, weight, heart rate and other indicators. The tablet system features medication reminders, educational materials, and daily symptom surveys which upload to a dashboard that clinicians can access.
When the biometric systems alert clinicians that a patient is at risk or struggling with symptoms, a telehealth nurse will contact them to verify the issue, recommend interventions or dispatch clinicians to the patient’s home if necessary. The nurse will contact that patient’s primary case manager and ensure that any interventions or other necessary data entered into the patient’s electronic medical record.
“Care Dimensions’ clinical team recognizes the importance of engagement, from both patients and caregivers, and prioritizes this when enrolling and teaching new patients,” said Devon Wetter, client success manager at HRS. “Their commitment to patient and caregiver engagement has resulted in patient adherence rates of nearly 90% and has been essential to their reduction of hospital readmissions and [emergency department] visits.”