Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice Improves Patient Outcomes by Expanding Telehealth

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Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, a leading agency serving 48 Ohio counties, is using innovative technology to keep patients healthy and at home.

A successful telehealth program empowers patients to manage their disease process, it holds them accountable and helps them better understand their disease as well as their care.

Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, greater Toledo is leveraging technology to improve health outcomes for their patients with chronic diseases. Telemonitoring is booming as healthcare agencies turn to simple technology to enhance the quality of care in the home and reduce overall healthcare costs for chronic disease management.

Thanks in part to a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation, in November 2016, Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice partnered with Health Recovery Solutions (HRS), an innovative software company, to provide continuous care for patients with chronic diseases. Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice provides patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) with HRS' disease-specific software. The software is loaded onto tablets and paired with wireless devices that allow patients to take and track their vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level on a daily basis. Patients also receive medication reminders, answer daily symptom and personal exercise surveys, and have the opportunity to view disease-specific educational videos.

Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice has seen great success with its patients on the telehealth program and has doubled its telehealth inventory in November 2017 to serve even more patients. A dedicated telehealth nurse monitors patient vital signs in real time, assesses the patient's health and responds to any drastic changes that could put them at risk for a hospital admission or an emergency room visit. Through HRS' software the telehealth nurse can communicate with the patient via text, phone, and video chat, all through the tablet. Similarly, the patient can contact the telehealth nurse through those same channels if they have any questions about their vital signs, plan of care, or simply for encouragement and support.

Patients on the Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, greater Toledo telehealth program had a hospital readmission rate of 10.5% (almost two percent lower than the state average) and an emergency room utilization rate of 3.5% (one percent lower than the state average) for the six month period June through December 2017. The low readmission and emergency room utilization rates can be attributed to the dedication of the telehealth nurse who constantly monitors alerts for high-risk readings or poor medication adherence, and then uses the unique capabilities of the software for face-to-face conversations with the patient.

"A successful telehealth program empowers patients to manage their disease process," said Wendy Price-Kiser, executive director of Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, greater Toledo. "It holds them accountable and helps them better understand their disease as well as their care."

Jarrett Bauer, CEO of HRS, adds "Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice has seen great results using our software and we are thrilled that they continue to grow their telehealth program."

About Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice

Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice is a Medicare-certified, not-for-profit home health care and hospice agency. Serving the greater Toledo area for almost 40 years, Ohio Living has received six consecutive deficiency-free Ohio Department of Health surveys, has been named to Home Care Elite and is CHAP accredited. Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, greater Toledo is the exclusive provider of the transitional care program, Home to Stay, for both the Northwest Ohio Accountable Care Organization and the Mercy Health Select Accountable Care Organization. To learn more about Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, visit ohioliving.org or call 419.865.1499.

About Health Recovery Solutions (HRS)

Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) supplies leading home care agencies with the most advanced remote monitoring platform focused on changing patient behavior to reduce readmissions and improve clinical outcomes. HRS' disease-specific engagement kits are customized with educational video, care plans, medication reminders while integrated with Bluetooth peripherals to engage patients. For clinicians, HRS' software allows for the management of high-risk patients and provides seamless communication with them through video chat, wound imaging and text messaging. For family members and caregivers, HRS' software gives them the ability to be fully involved in their family member's care and well-being. To learn more about Health Recovery Solutions, visit healthrecoverysolutions.com or call 347.699.6477.

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Richard Curry
Health Recovery Solutions Inc.
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