CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Charleston Area Medical Center has documented reduced readmissions for congestive heart failure (CHF), COPD and other chronic conditions using the SmarTigr interactive patient engagement and education system from TeleHealth Services.
The four-hospital system reduced their readmissions for CHF by more than 22% and COPD by almost 30% in early 2016, compared to the previous year. Readmisisons were also reduced for pneumonia.
“Seeing this positive trend in reducing readmissions and improving satisfaction has led other units and departments to look at the patient engagement system as a way to improve delivery of education and better prepare patients for taking care of themselves after discharge,” said Beverly Thornton, Health Education and Research Institute education director, in a statement.
The SmarTigr system integrates smart TVs, hospital software platforms and mobile apps with a library of interactive videos designed to educate patients about their care and medications. Through electronic medical record automation, condition-specific curriculum available in multiple languages are prescribed and monitored. The system generates activity reports for staff to review, document and measure compliance and patient comprehension. Records of patients viewing the videos are tracked and become part of their medical record. Patients are also asked to complete quizzes to assess education comprehension.
CAMC and its Multidisciplinary Patient and Family Education Council launched an initiative to reduce readmissions for chronic diseases in 2015. CAMC added the SmarTigr solution to standardize patient education and increase patient engagement. The strategy included a detailed clinical assessment at admission and nurse navigators who coordinate care and a smooth transition after discharge to other facilities as appropriate. Patients and their families have recognized the value of video-based education, shown by increased HCAHPS satisfaction scores, spurring adoption of education strategies in other units across the health system.
“Patients use technology in all facets of their lives, and health care is using technology as a way to improve patient care and streamline clinical operations,” said Dan Nathan, vice president of TeleHealth Services, in a statement. “Empowering patients in their own care favorably impacts outcomes and helps hospitals meet service and quality expectations.”
Thornton said the success of the initiative has been a catalyst for other units in the system to adopt the strategy.