Visiting Nurse Association telehealth program wins national award for innovation

Visiting Nurse Association telehealth program wins national award for innovation

Christiana Care Visiting Nurse Association’s “Control Your Heart for the Future” telehealth program won a national award for innovation at the Medicaid Health Plans of America 2013 Best Practices Awards in Washington, DC. The heart-healthy program, begun in 2009, is a partnership with Delaware Physicians Care, an Aetna Medicaid plan in the First State.

The telehealth program helps Medicaid patients who have congestive heart failure to improve their quality of life by more effectively managing their condition. The program incorporates education, self-monitoring and medication management. It also helps to address patients’ socioeconomic needs.

Patients who agree to participate in the program receive telemonitoring services that monitor vital signs for worsening congestive heart failure conditions. When such signs occur, Christiana Care VNA nurses intervene, working with physicians to help avoid hospitalizations and trips to the emergency room.

The program has shown consistent benefit to patients. During the 2012 – 2013 period, only 12 percent of patients in the program required hospitalization, compared to 46 percent of patients nationally, according to Strategic Healthcare Programs, a health care data management company.

“This innovative program is just one way our nurses serve our clients as expert, caring partners in their health,” said Lynn Jones, president of Christiana Care Visiting Nurse Association. “Through this program, we have been able to significantly improve our clients’ sense of well-being, improve their follow-up care with their physician, reduce inappropriate use of the emergency room and reduce the number of repeat hospital admissions.”