Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 05, 2012

Qualcomm Life and VRI Team-up to Reduce Hospital Readmissions at Tri-City Medical Center

According to Medicare, 2,217 hospitals were due to receive penalties starting on October 2012 for high readmission rates soon after discharge. The penalties will cost the hospitals $280 million, a tough blow in this economic climate. The government is clamping down on readmission because it says avoidable readmission costs Medicare about $17 billion every year. Hospitals nationwide are searching for practical solutions to reduce readmission without jeopardizing the health and safety of their patients. The collaboration between Qualcomm Life, VRI and Tri-City Medical Center (TCMC) hopes to achieve this goal by using wireless technology, logistics and monitoring services.

TCMC is looking to provide a platform capable of monitoring patients in their homes 48 hours after they have been discharged. The hospital wants to keep its impressive record of being number one in San Diego County and the top one percent in the country for readmission for heart related issues. The hospital will train patients post-discharge on how to use the monitoring equipment. VRI will provide the monitoring of the data output, thereby saving valuable human resources at the hospital.

"Several administrators at hospitals across the country are struggling to figure out how to provide services in the home to reduce readmissions. Tri-City Medical Center has thought about it differently by deciding to send a trained technician to the patient's house to install Qualcomm Life's easy-to-use 2net Hub and peripherals," said Andy Schoonover, executive chairman of VRI.

Qualcomm’s 2net Platform is a cloud-based system able to perform with multiple medical devices and application with end-to-end wireless connectivity. It gives physicians, care givers and family members access to relevant biometric data across different delivery methods, such as the Web. The 2net Platform is listed by the FDA as a Class I Medical Device Data Systems (MDDS) with SSL support for secure communications of medical data.

"The ability to track a patient's vital signs via the 2net Hub post hospital discharge provides care centers the opportunity to drastically cut costs and improve overall outcomes associated with readmissions. The plug and play nature of the 2net Hub pairs well with TCMC's and VRI's commitment to remote monitoring, and given the fact that the Medicare 30-Day Readmission Rule is now in effect across the U.S., this effort could not be timelier," said Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life.

The hospital will be able to manage discharged patients with different chronic medical conditions, such as Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and diabetes.

"Advancing patient care with innovative technologies is one of our core values. This collaboration will enable us to further reduce our hospital readmission rates that are already some of the best in the country. By better coordinating care for our patients, we're better able to keep them going about their daily activities from the comfort of their own homes," said Larry Anderson, chief executive officer at Tri-City Medical Center.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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