Patients who leave the hospital with a condition that tends to result in a second trip to the hospital are being sent home with monitors, free of charge. The monitor employs TeleHealth technology so medical staff can remotely screen patients and provide follow-up care as soon as it is needed. This means fewer situations become life-threatening.
“Patients don’t stop being our patients just because they leave the four walls of the hospital,” said Sharon Riddick, RN, administrative director of Bon Secours Home Care. “We have a responsibility to provide the best follow-up care possible so patients don’t need to be readmitted.”
Through the technology, nurses can determine whether the patient has shortness of breath or is adhering to their diet and medication regimen. Nurses also conduct a virtual visit, which includes patients checking their own blood pressure, blood sugar and blood oxygen level. This information is sent to a Home Care Central computer, which sends out alerts if something appears amiss.
Since Bon Secours Hampton Roads began its TeleHealth program five years ago, results have been significant. Readmission rates have dropped by 15 percent, and Bon Secours’ readmission rate is now 13 percent, 10 percent below the national average. The program has been so successful in Hampton Roads, it has served as a model for hospitals in other parts of the country.