A company known as Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) is on the rise and in my opinion, it should benefit everyone. The primary goal of HRS is simple: to reduce patient readmission to hospitals. How will it do this?
And I’m not talking about any medication tablets either. HRS provides hospitals with electronic tablets, which are given to patients at risk for readmission upon discharge from the hospital. The benefits of using the devices include:
- The devices contain educational videos, as well as quizzes following each video. Patient performance allows hospital staff to determine quantitatively determine that patient’s educational needs.
- Patients use the tablet at home to record medications, weight, activities, etc. This information is then transmitted back to the healthcare facility so the patient’s healthcare providers can monitor their progress.
Thus far, out of all the patients to receive the tablet upon discharge, not one has been readmitted to the hospital. According to the HRS website, the tablets use “a research based platform (PatientConnect) that constructively guides patents’ behaviors” and will help hospitals to “improve patient satisfaction, increase efficiency of their workflow, and generate additional revenue”.
What could make this software even more beneficial in the future?
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hopes to reduce hospital readmission as well. According to an article on CNN Money, HRS is one of several companies that should benefit from the institution of Obamacare. To reduce patient readmission rates, Obamacare institutes a penalty for hospitals that fail to meet criteria:
- Any Medicare patient treated for pneumonia, heart failure, or a heart attack that requires readmission to the hospital within 30 days of original discharge will result in a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements for that hospital.
Obviously, if HRS can continue to prove their worth, the tablet concept would prove paramount in avoiding patient readmission penalties. As stated previously, HRS claims that healthcare facilities can actually increase their revenue by using the tablet platform. Only time will tell. Regardless of the effects on Health Recovery Solutions due to Obamacare, the company has employed an innovative idea that should benefits patients and healthcare professionals.
What might be a problem?
Despite my fascination with this concept, I just don’t see how it can work in a facility that serves the underprivileged population. The main reason that comes to mind is cost. This wouldn’t be as large of an issue if the hospital can truly make money by implementing this system. If it does cost the hospital money, institutions that are already hard-pressed to obtain adequate funding will be unable to use it. Furthermore, many of the patients treated in these facilities are living below the national poverty level, oftentimes homeless or unemployed. Giving out tablets to everyone and expecting to get them all back is simply unrealistic. You can charge fees to prevent the wealthy from breaking, losing or stealing, but the undeserved population wouldn’t be able to pay the fee anyway. Would the hospital or insurance company cover it then? Someone has to pay the bill, because you know HRS isn’t going to turn into a company that gives away free tablets.
As long as hospitals are able to meet the financial obligations, HRS could have extremely beneficial effects on the healthcare system. I think real-time patient monitoring after discharge is one of the next innovative steps in healthcare. A foundational component of Obamacare being successful is preventative medicine. Preventing readmission through post-discharge monitoring systems is an excellent method for preventing post-treatment complications and increasing positive patient outcomes.