MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire has switched vendors to introduce an upgraded patient monitoring program focused on reducing readmissions for high-risk patients and improving quality of care.
“We really want patients and their families to understand their part in the process and help them understand their chronic disease,” said Linda Martin-Heaney, clinical manager at the VNA of MSNH.
A new software platform designed by Health Recovery Solutions has been in place for about three months. The system uses Samsung tablets that pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices like scales, blood pressure cuffs and/or pulse oximeters. It features a mobile app and integrates with a portal on the agency’s end. All data captured through the devices is sent to the clinical team in real-time. The devices also trigger alerts for patients at high risk of a medical emergency.
Martin-Heaney said the HRS system is different from the platform the agency was using previously because it features cloud-based technology that is easy to set up and use, and doesn’t experience interference from other technology that may be in the home.
“The platform is really built to cover the gamut of users,” she said. “People who are technology-resistant have no trouble using it, but those who are tech-savvy can use more advanced features like report generating, text messaging or educational videos.”
While Martin-Heaney didn’t get down to an actual figure, she said the cost of the HRS system is equivalent to what the agency has spent on the previous platform.
“It’s an investment we’re happy to make for our patients,” she said.
There is no cost to patients for the technology, and the program is currently serving about 15 patients. It’s too soon to gauge the impact of the program, Martin-Heaney said, but the initial feedback on the new technology has been positive from both agency staff and patients.
“This is really just a newer solution to the age-old problem of helping people to stay healthy and manage their conditions at home, where they want to be,” she said.