TOLEDO, Ohio – Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice in greater Toledo is leveraging technology to improve health outcomes for their patients with chronic diseases.
With a grant from the Verizon Foundation, the agency has partnered with Health Recovery Solutions to provide remote patient monitoring to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. OLHHH doubled its telehealth inventory in November to serve more patients.
“A successful telehealth program empowers patients to manage their disease process,” said Wendy Price-Kiser, executive director of Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, greater Toledo, in a statement. “It holds them accountable and helps them better understand their disease, as well as their care.”
Patients in the telemonitoring program are provided with tablets loaded with HRS’s disease-specific software and paired
with wireless devices that allow them to take and track their vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen level on a daily basis. Patients also receive medication reminders, answer daily symptom and personal exercise surveys, and have the opportunity to view disease-specific educational videos.
A dedicated telehealth nurse monitors patient vital signs in real time, assesses the patient’s health and responds to any drastic changes that could put them at risk for a hospital admission or an emergency room visit. Through HRS’s software, the telehealth nurse can communicate with the patient via text, phone and video chat, all through the tablet. The patient can also contact the telehealth nurse through those same channels if they have any questions about their vital signs, plan of care, or for encouragement and support.
Patients on the Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice telehealth program had a hospital readmission rate of 10.5%, almost two percent lower than the state average, according to Price-Kiser, and an emergency room utilization rate of 3.5%, which is one percent lower than the state average for the six-month period June through December 2017.