Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Partners with Health Recovery Solutions to reduce hospital readmissions for heart failure patients through a pilot telemedicine program

In October 2017, Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s (VNA) partnered with innovative telehealth company, Health Recovery Solutions (HRS), to launch a pilot intervention program for adults living with heart failure.

Individuals with heart disease have a national average 30-day readmission rate of 24%.[1] Colorado VNA is hoping to significantly reduce this rate for their home health heart failure clients with the use of remote monitoring technology through HRS’ telehealth software.

Colorado VNA clients placed on the telemedicine pilot are provided with 4G tablets pre-loaded with the HRS software. The tablets are paired with Bluetooth biometric devices which allow patients to take their blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and more. The HRS software provides patients with daily reminders to take their vitals, answer symptom related questions, and manage their medication while also providing educational content on their condition. Meanwhile, the HRS software also allows clinicians the ability to monitor patient vitals and respond to high-risk alerts when patients are at risk for hospital readmission.

“The program was easy to understand, and the tablet was very easy to use,” said the wife of a telemedicine client. She adds, “the tablet provided valuable education and videos and overall the program kept [my husband] from returning to the hospital and doctor’s office.”

Colorado VNA clinicians use the unique ability of the HRS software to support enhanced care continuity by combining in-home visits with video, phone, and text communication to patient tablets. This allows clinicians the ability to routinely communicate with clients to follow up on their symptoms and care plan adherence. The communication tools available through the software are designed to complement traditional at home care. Laurel Thompson, RN, is the Clinical Manager at Colorado VNA who is monitoring clients on the program. Thompson adds “the virtual visits have the potential to be a valuable supplement to in-home visits.”

CEO of Colorado VNA, Chris Lee states “We believe that the HRS platform can help us reduce hospital readmissions and improve the health status of vulnerable, high-risk individuals with heart failure, an exponentially growing segment of our state’s older adults.”

The pilot program was made possible by a partnership with several area physician groups and hospitals, such as The Medical Center of Aurora and Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates, and with philanthropic assistance from Caring for Colorado and Telligen Community Initiative. Lee comments, “this pilot is helping us advance new partnerships with other healthcare providers to build a team-based, cost-effective telemedicine program that fosters a culture of health, respect, and communication so that our clients can manage and live with their chronic illness during and beyond their time with Colorado VNA.”

CEO of HRS, Jarrett Bauer adds “we hope that our partnership helps Colorado VNA reach their goals of lowering hospital readmission rates for their heart failure patients and for keeping patients healthy and at home.”

For more information about the program please call (303) 698-2121.

[1] O’Connor, C. M. (2017). High Heart Failure Readmission Rates. JACC: Heart Failure, 5(5), 393. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2017.03.011