High-Risk Patient Telephone Monitoring Program - Touch
MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to keeping high-risk patients safe and healthy at home. In between visits with the home healthcare team, MedStar VNA uses a telephone monitoring program to give increased attention to patients who are at greatest risk of life-threatening symptoms. The program, called “Touch,” uses automated calls to check on patients and identify urgent health concerns before they require emergency care or admission to the hospital.
How Does the Program Work?
Patients are identified for the Touch program based on an innovative technology called predictive analytics – provided by a partnership with Medalogix. Predictive analytics uses each patients’ medical record data to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. This helps MedStar VNA identify patients who have the highest level of health risk.
The highest-risk patients receive automated phone calls in between home-visits. These phone calls ask the patient to answer a few quick questions about how he or she is feeling. If the patient gives a negative answer to a question, it generates an alert in MedStar VNA’s medical record. The nurse and nurse manager who are overseeing this patient’s care will see the alert and follow up with the patient as soon as possible. The service alerts allow the homecare team to intervene quickly, help the patient control negative symptoms, and potentially prevent unplanned trips to the hospital.
Identifying a High-Risk Patient
When MedStar VNA nurses and therapists evaluate patients, they use medical history, care standards, their assessment skills, past experience, and the patient’s environment to determine a patient’s risk and to create a personalized care plan. The predictive analytics tool offers an added layer of evaluation by analyzing even more variables in the medical record data. This enables MedStar VNA to identify patients at the highest level of risk for complications. The highest risk patients are eligible to enroll in the Touch automated phone calls to provide an even greater level of care and attention.
Who is Eligible?
MedStar VNA’s predictive analytics tool identifies the patients who are at highest risk of complications and the potential need for emergency medical care. These patients are eligible for enrollment in the program. During homecare visits, a visiting nurse or therapist will ask qualified patients whether they would like to enroll in the Touch program. This helps ensure that patients are willing and interested in participating.
How Physicians, Hospitals and Family Members Can Help
If your patient or loved one is eligible for the program, please encourage him or her to participate. During the automated calls, it is important to follow these guidelines:
- Listen to the question and respond by saying “YES” or “NO”.
- Speak loudly, clearly, and directly into the phone receiver.
- Reduce background noise by turning off the TV or radio and asking others to be quiet or stop talking while answering the questions.
- Stay on the line until the patient hears “Thank you for answering these important questions about your health.” That’s when they can hang up.
- If the patient answers “YES” to any question, a MedStar VNA representative will call the patient to follow-up as soon as possible.