With innovative telemonitoring technology, MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) can monitor patients’ vital signs and symptoms remotely to identify abnormal readings and address negative symptoms or health concerns before they turn into medical emergencies. The remote monitoring program aims to keep patients healing safely and comfortably in their own homes by addressing the main reasons that patients are often readmitted to the hospital or sent to the emergency room, including: not taking medications, poor diet, inadequate family support and lack of understanding about their health conditions.
With the telemonitoring technology provided by Health Recovery Solutions (HRS), MedStar VNA’s home healthcare team members receive a daily perspective of a patient’s health status. This is especially helpful on days when there are no scheduled visits to the patient’s home.
How Telemonitoring Works
Each patient in MedStar VNA’s telemonitoring program is provided with a 4G Samsung tablet loaded with HRS’ easy–to-use telemonitoring software. It is customized to meet the patient’s unique needs. The tablet provides patients with educational videos, medication reminders, and comes with biometric screening devices such as a:
- Blood pressure monitor
- Pulse oximeter
These devices allow patients to take and record their own vitals signs on a daily basis. In addition, home healthcare team members can communicate with the patient through the tablet without the need for a landline or internet connection.
After patients record their data, it is automatically transmitted to their homecare nurse. The tablet and devices are safe, secure, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.
Benefits of Remote Telemonitoring
The telemonitoring software is customized with a patient’s unique condition and its technology helps manage a patient’s recovery. The daily vital sign recordings and health status updates are used to help the home healthcare team and the patient’s physician adjust the treatment plan if needed. This helps patients to achieve the best outcome possible.
The HRS Telemonitoring Software allows patients to:
- Measure weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels and track their readings
- Let their nurse know of symptoms through a daily survey
- Learn about their disease condition and how to manage it
- Track whether they are taking their medications as ordered
- Communicate with the MedStar VNA through phone and text messaging
The HRS Telemonitoring Software allows the home healthcare team to:
- Monitor a patient’s vitals in real time
- Respond to high-risk readings that could lead to a medical emergency or admission to the hospital
- Communicate with patients via phone call or text message
- Supplement education through videos and teach-back quizzes
What Patients Qualify for Telemonitoring
MedStar VNA’s telemonitoring program focuses on high-risk patient populations. These patients have complicated medical conditions like congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or diabetes which often require emergency care if symptoms cannot be controlled. Homecare team members explain the program to the patients and enroll them if they are willing to participate.
According to MedStar VNA’s telemonitoring partner, HRS, this program provides the following results to participants:
- 71% reduction in repeat admissions to the hospital
- $1.9M savings for insurance payers
- Improved utilization by 50%
- Increased care engagement by 24 minutes/day