News | April 20, 2015

Software Halves Congestive Heart Failure Readmissions for Penn Medicine’s Home Care Program

Patients are educated on healthy lifestyle choices, transmit medical data via tablet

Penn Medicine, congestive heart failure, readmissions, Health Recovery Solutions

April 20, 2015 — Penn Medicine’s Penn Care at Home program reported a 53 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rates for 130 congestive heart failure patients since implementing software from Health Recovery Solutions. Readmission rates dropped from 8 percent to 3.8 percent over a period from July 2014 to February 2015.

The 3.8 percent readmission rate is dramatically lower than the national average of 19.5 percent for congestive heart failure patients who return to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.

“Since launching with HRS, we’ve had our best CHF readmission performance to date,” says Anne Norris, M.D., and chief medical officer of Penn Care at Home. “In six of the last 12 months we have had zero 30-day readmissions, and our overall rate stands at 3.8 percent. There’s a secret sauce here, using this tool to engage patients in their own self-care.”

In the program, patients are provided a 4G tablet preloaded with comprehensive guidance on a maintaining a healthy lifestyle and personalized instructions for taking medication. The software also includes instructional videos and individualized care plans to assist patients in avoiding readmission during the critical 30-day post-discharge period. Patients use the tablet to record and transmit their progress to their care teams; data on vital signs, symptoms and medication-related side effects are recorded and shared with a telehealth nurse who, in turn, collaborates with patients and providers to identify self-care goals and strategies.

On average, patients are enrolled in the program for 85 days, allowing them to receive quality care in the comfort of their own homes. The interactive tablet addresses multiple common causes of readmissions — which cost the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) $25 billion annually — and aims to increase not only quality of care but overall patient satisfaction with the post-discharge experience.

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