New Jersey-based HackensackAlliance, an accountable care organization (or ACO), says it has taken care coordination “to the next, high-tech level.”
The organization recently began giving patients their own 4G tablets for the purpose of helping to better manage their care.
The ACO gives 4G tablets to patients with chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or diabetes, since those are the three leading causes of readmissions in the HackensackAlliance ACO, according to Noreen Hartnett, BSN, RN, patient care navigator with HackensackAlliance ACO.
“Those are disease processes that are changing for the patient day-to-day, so they need to manage their symptoms at home as well as have physicians managing in the office,” Hartnett tells Becker’s Hospital Review.
Following a protracted pilot study, the tablet program has shown promising results with regard to cutting patient readmissions.
“In a pilot study of the program,” the same report summarizes, “a group of Medicare patients who used the tablets had a readmission rate of just 8 percent, while a control group had a 28 percent readmission rate.”
Ultimately, Hartnett says, the program does more than just slash readmissions. By educating and inspiring patients to be healthier, “it empowers the patient” as well.