Reduction in the cost of the admission for provision of better health care is the need of the hour within any hospital dealing with significant numbers of congestive heart failure patients. And Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, a 237-bed facility in Northern Virginia, is no different. That’s why it promptly embraced an idea to monitor its CHF patients’ daily weight and symptoms without having to see them in a healthcare setting. So it turned to a concept that uses surprisingly simple technology: a scale and a telephone, to learn the earliest signs of fluid buildup and treat those patients before their disease gets out of control.
With utilization of Pharos Innovations’ Tel-Assurance Remote Patient Monitoring Platform, the process takes only three minutes. The health system is so encouraged by the results, it is adopting the system in its four other Inova Health System hospitals: Inova Fairfax, Inova Alexandria, Inova Loudon, and Inova Fair Oaks. Last October the programme enrolled CHF patients. They were told to weigh themselves daily, and call in their weight to a special number. They would also report any symptom changes daily. If they do report such symptoms, a case manager calls them back promptly to schedule a visit to see if a medication adjustment is necessary. And, the patients are reinforced on a daily basis to watch their sodium intake and make sure they are medication compliant. If the patients don’t call the designated number by noon, a case worker calls them back directly. During the first six months of the program, 47 patients complied consistently. Now, the health system has expanded the program 150 patients and it is hoped that in future the number will increase, with more enrollments under this programme.