A local home health care company has forged an alliance with the intention to improve its ability to monitor home care patients and provide enhanced health management.
This week, Wilmington-based Well Care Home Health announced it is working with Health Recovery Systems (HRS), a software company launched at Johns Hopkins University, to provide a telehealth remote monitoring program to Well Care’s patients in 43 North Carolina counties.
Well Care Home Health will use HRS’s new Clinician Connect and Caregiver Connect mobile apps, which allow nurses in the field as well as the patient’s family caregivers to receive high-risk alerts from tablets that monitor and engage patients. Both the nurses and family members will be able to conduct video calls, phone calls or text messages directly to the patient’s tablet, company officials said.
The tablets are provided at no cost to Well Care patients on Medicare home care who have chronic illnesses such as heart failure, COPD and hypertension. The efficiencies of using telehealth remote monitoring save the company money, Troy Rudeseal, the clinical manager of Well Care's cardiac team, said Friday. He is overseeing the introduction of the new HRS program.Patient involvement in managing their own health and health care is a key part of the new program, Rudeseal said. Patients will receive information and other material tailored to their specific situation.
If patients improve so they are no longer classified as homebound by Medicare, they can choose to continue the program and pay a fee for it, Well Care CEO Wayne Long said Friday.
“Well Care Home Health is excited to collaborate with HRS to provide a technology platform to better manage chronic diseases such as heart failure through education and patient engagement,” Well Care COO Wanda Coley said in the release. “Having access to real time data will allow our specialized nurses to proactively provide care interventions using best practice protocols to avoid hospitalizations and improve quality."
Rudeseal said HRS is Well Care's third telehealth system and is an improvement over what the company has used before.
"This one called out to us in that it had a lot of patient engagement," he said. "There is a tremendous amount of patient education about diet, sodium intake, exercise and how to manage the disease at home."
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