White Plains, NY (October 2011) - With hospitals under new pressure from Medicare to reduce readmissions, and re-hospitalization a major concern for patients with congestive heart failure (“CHF”) three area healthcare groups are collaborating on a common cause. White Plains Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Jewish Home Lifecare are working together to utilize the benefits of telehealth, the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies, to reduce hospital readmissions among patients with CHF.
Medical staff from these three groups anticipate that both the Philips personal health monitor, which patients use at home, and the HealthMonitor® Kiosk, located at the Jewish Home’s Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck, will reduce CHF readmission rates and help patients better manage their disease symptoms. This pilot program will evaluate the efficacy of telehealth in reducing re-hospitalizations among patients with CHF in the 90-day period after discharge.
CHF is the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. The condition causes abnormal heartbeats that lead to fatigue, shortness of breath and dangerous accumulation of fluids that cause swelling of the arms and legs. Complications from CHF can be serious and require hospitalization.
“CHF is an increasingly common health problem, especially among elderly patients. It’s a serious disease, often of a progressive nature. With these two new telehealth systems in place, patients with CHF will be better supported to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life,” Said Dr. Michael Palumbo, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at White Plains Hospital.
White Plains Hospital patients with CHF who are admitted to Sarah Neuman for short-stay care before going home will use the HealthMonitor® Kiosk while at the nursing home. The Kiosk is an easy to use touch-screen device that monitors medical information of patients in congregate settings such as Sarah Neuman Center’s short-stay rehabilitation program. The Kiosk uses special question-and-answer dialogues to collect health data such as weight, blood pressure and medication usage. Through the combination of monitoring health data and kiosk dialogues, patients are informed and empowered to better manage their health and disease.
At the end of their stay at Sarah Neuman, patients who receive home care services from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and who qualify for the pilot program will have a personal health monitor, the Philips TeleStation, installed in their home by Jewish Home Lifecare for two months of monitoring. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York will provide home care services, which include reinforcing home self-monitoring as well as follow-up on concerning results. The Philips TeleStation works similarly to the HealthMonitor® Kiosk, but is usually used in the home setting rather than a healthcare facility.
“Through the combination of these telehealth devices, patients are empowered to better manage their own health,” said Dr. Elaine Healy of Jewish Home Lifecare's Sarah Neuman campus. “We are delighted to partner with White Plains Hospital and VNSNY on this telehealth pilot and look forward to seeing positive results from this collaboration between three different providers in the spectrum of patient care.”
“Improving the transitional process from hospital to home care and the role it plays in reducing hospital readmissions among all patients has been a major focus of VNSNY for several years,” explains Eloise Goldberg, VNSNY Vice President of Home care for Westchester, Nassau and the Bronx. “Our hope is that this new partnership and technology will significantly advance that goal.”