Managing Health Outcomes Program Improves Patient Lives

Monday, November 14, 2016

Patients suffering from chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, asthma, hypertension and obesity are learning to control their conditions through self-monitoring equipment. The program is managed by caregivers at Augusta Care Partners.

Patients who are underserved and qualify for financial assistance are provided with self-monitoring equipment such as a blood pressure cuff, scale or pulse oximeter to help manage their disease. Qualifying patients meet with case managers who teach them to use the equipment and record daily results. Goals, such as a target blood pressure, are established for each patient. Over a 90 day period, case managers call the patients to check their progress and results, and answer any questions they may have. When the 90 day program ends, the patient may keep the equipment to continue to monitor their condition and progress.

Hundreds of patients have participated in the Managing Health Outcomes program; currently there are 233 registered and monitoring. In 2015, 87% of the patients with hypertension who received blood pressure cuffs began to regularly monitor their blood pressure, and 52% actually improved their blood pressure readings through regular monitoring.

The program is fully funded by generous gifts to the Augusta Health Foundation.

Any community physician can refer a patient for the program. Patients may also self-refer by calling Augusta Care Partners at (540) 245-7570.

Impact

"Grant funds have allowed our case managers to improve patient outcomes through teaching and promoting personal responsibility in disease management skills. This encourages a partnership with their providers that will hopefully lead to decreased or delayed disease progression."

Kim Galloway, RN BSN, Case Management Coordinator, Augusta Health

"I learned about (the program) at a visit with my doctor. She said I would qualify for the program and I got equipment to check my sugar and blood pressure and a scale. It's easy to use. I check my sugar in the morning and evening and my blood pressure in the morning. I write the numbers down and take them to my doctor's appointments. They say I'm doing really well. I keep the numbers where they should be, and I couldn't do that without the equipment."

Brenda Terrell, a patient of Dr. Amrita DeZoysa of Augusta Health Primary Care in Fishersville

Ms. Terrell adds that she believes monitoring her blood sugar and blood pressure has helped her stay healthy, and helped her recover better when she has become sick. She recommends that anyone who needs to monitor their blood pressure or sugar ask their doctor about the program.

The Managing Health Outcomes Program has collaborated with other community programs such as the Weight Loss Program at Augusta Regional Clinic.

"The Augusta Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to fund this important health program and provide needed equipment to those who want to improve their health"

Tami Radecke, Executive Director of the Augusta Health Foundation

About Augusta Health Foundation and Augusta Health

Augusta Health Foundation's mission is to inspire community ownership through charitable giving to advance health and wellness in our region. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Augusta Health and supports essential patient care programs and services at Augusta Health, including Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah. For more information about Augusta Health Foundation, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com/foundation.

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters/Truven in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for two consecutive years. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com.