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Reducing Readmissions with Tablets


Patients with access to tablets with customized instructions and videos had much lower readmission rates, according to a small randomized study.

A small randomized study revealed that a tablet device can be used as an early warning system to reduce hospital readmissions of high-risk patients.

In a 50-patient study at Hackensack University Medical Center and Holy Name Medical Center, some patients received a tablet loaded with customized instructions and videos from Health Recovery Solutions. At the end of the study, patients with the tablet had an 8% readmission rate compared to a rate of 28% among patients who didn’t receive a tablet.

Patients with the tablets followed the individualized instructions and videos that were all geared to avoiding readmission during the post-discharge period. At home, patients continued to track their progress: taking medication as prescribed, weighing themselves, staying active, etc. Their data was then transmitted back to their care teams.

“In the end, it’s all about the patient,” Jarrett Bauer, chief executive officer of HRS said in a statement. “The most important thing we do is to help patients take care of themselves."

The average patient was 71 years old and had an ejection fraction below 40%. Furthermore, the patients in the tablet group actually averaged a five-pound weight loss.

According to HRS, both Hackensack and Holy Name reduced their Medicare penalty by preventing five excess readmissions. In New Jersey, hospitals are losing approximately $25,000 for these types of readmissions.

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