VISN 8 results for this six-month, 600 patient study showed a 74 percent cost reduction in areas such as inpatient, outpatient and medication costs. This translated to a net savings of 23 million dollars across the study population, over half of which communicated with caregivers via the Health Buddy appliance. In the customer satisfaction survey, patients rated the technology as understandable, reliable, and easy to use. Patients reported they were more educated, more secure, and better able to manage their own health care needs.
"The Health Buddy has been an asset to our care co-ordinators in pro-actively resolving potential health problems", stated Rita Kobb, ARNP, care co-ordinator of the Rural Home Care Project based in Lake City, Florida. "Patients have responded very positively to the technology." The Health Hero platform used by the VISN 8 programme consists of the Health Hero iCare Desktop, a Web-based patient management tool, and the Health Buddy, an easy-to-use information appliance placed in the patient's home. Together the Web tools and the appliance form an integrated solution which helps care managers identify potential problems with patients before they occur, while facilitating behaviour modification as well as education on self-management.
VISN 8 currently uses the Health Hero patient management solution as part of its demonstration initiative to increase the quality of health care services for veterans. This initiative was designed to improve clinical outcomes, to increase patient satisfaction, and to reduce costs through daily patient in-home monitoring. The Health Hero enhanced programme currently supports patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and mental illness including bi-polar disorder and depression.
"It is our hope that other Veterans Integrated Service Networks will use the VISN 8 blueprint to extend these tremendous patient benefits and cost savings throughout the nation", said Steve Brown, CEO of Health Hero Network. "We are honoured to be a technology partner supporting these innovations in care management by the United States' largest health care delivery system."
Health Hero Network Inc. develops and markets a technology platform for remote patient monitoring, Internet-based care management, and research application services. The Health Hero solution consists of Web-based tools for caregivers and the Health Buddy appliance, an easy-to-use device for communication, utilised by the patients to respond to daily queries about symptoms, behaviour, and knowledge. The Health Hero platform enables care providers to deliver care with better outcomes at far lower costs to the health care system.