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Geisinger cuts readmission rates by 44% through telemonitoring

Telehealth also helped case managers more effectively monitor patients

Topics: Telemedicine, Information Technology, Remote monitoring, Readmissions, Quality, Performance Improvement

March 07, 2012

The use of a home telemonitoring system helped reduce 30-day hospital readmission rates by 44% among patients with congestive heart failure, according to Geisinger Health Plan's evaluation of its patient monitoring program.

Geisinger's home telemonitoring system allows patients to receive scheduled calls through an interactive voice response system developed by telehealth company AMC Health.

The calls ask patients about their symptoms and then store the responses online and in patients' electronic health records. The responses then are analyzed to determine whether the patient requires a follow-up visit with a nurse or case manager.

Study details

For the two-year evaluation of its telemonitoring program, Geisinger tracked 30-day hospital readmission rates among patients enrolled in the program and compared them with readmission rates among patients receiving only case management.

The study found that 30-day hospital readmission rates were 44% lower among patients in the telemonitoring program compared with those receiving only case management.

Geisinger also surveyed case managers participating in the telemonitoring program and found that:

  • 96% of case managers said the telehealth technology helped them monitor patients with heart failure more effectively; and
  • 85% said the combination of the telehealth technology and closer patient monitoring helped reduce hospital readmissions (Gale, CMIO, 3/5; Anderson, Healthcare IT News, 2/29).

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