KENOSHA, Wis. – Congestive heart failure patients in Southeastern Wisconsin will finally be able to benefit from Bluetooth-connected blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and scales through a new patient engagement and remote monitoring program set to go live in August.
The Kenosha Visiting Nurse Association has replaced its previous patient monitoring program with new technology from Health Recovery Solutions, making it the first agency in the state to offer such a program.
“Currently we depend on the patient to call us when they notice something is off,” said Shannon Ziglinski, clinical director of Kenosha VNA. “Unfortunately, when and if they do finally call, it’s usually too close to being too late to avoid hospitalization.”
A local grant is funding the implementation of the HRS system and its operation for the first year.
Kenosha VNA will track the program’s success with data from the HRS platform—Ziglinski is confident it will result in cost savings through reduced hospital readmissions.
“We’re positive decreases are coming,” she said.
Ziglinski said the agency is beginning the program with a trial phase of about 20 patients with CHF, eventually bumping up to cover the agency’s daily census of about 120 patients. They hope to expand to cover patients with COPD and diabetes in the future.
Each patient in the program will receive a customized care plan and a tablet to monitor their symptoms and vitals in real-time, as well as to contact clinicians and family members through video visits, phone calls and text messages.
Patient data will be sent through the cloud to a clinical dashboard, where the agency can monitor the patient and pull data to track progress. Family members and other caregivers can also help monitor and engage patients through a mobile app that allows them to track care plan compliance.
“Our nurses are not usually in a patient’s home every day, and definitely not all day every day,” Ziglinski said. “For us, this platform means we can check up on our patients’ progress at any time, every single day.”