Phelps recently introduced another initiative to improve care and quality of life for high-risk patients. In February, Phelps launched a telehealth pilot project in collaboration with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Hudson Valley to extend the continuum of care into the home setting. Using equipment installed in the home, a patient’s blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and weight are captured and wirelessly transmitted to a monitoring station, where the data is reviewed and changes in the patient’s health status are noted. If an abnormal result is found, a telehealth nurse will contact the patient to determine the cause and will follow up with his or her primary care provider as necessary. Phelps is the first hospital in Westchester to offer this type of program.
Studies show that up to 20 percent of hospital inpatients are re-admitted within 30 days of discharge due to exacerbations of congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes. The goals of the telehealth program are to prevent avoidable re-hospitalizations, enhance patient and caregiver satisfaction, guide patients toward more disease self-management, and support their ability to age-in-place safely, responsibly and independently. Evidence-based research shows that telehealth can be instrumental in achieving these goals by tracking a patient’s health status and providing prompt intervention by medical practitioners as needed.
Patients of Phelps Medical Associates providers are being selected for participation in the program based upon their need for chronic disease management and risk for repeated hospitalizations. During the pilot project, telehealth services are being offered free of charge to participants, thanks to a generous donation from the William Olson Memorial Fund.
For more information on the program, please contact the Vitality program at 914-366-3937.