FARMINGTON HILLS — Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began imposing severe reimbursement penalties to hospitals for avoidable and costly re-hospitalizations. Since home care is considered an integral part of patient recovery, Mundelein, Ill.-based Medline Industries Inc. and Critical Signal Technologies announced a major initiative to help home health agencies reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions and improve quality of care.
Through an exclusive partnership, Medline and CST are launching a home care quality improvement program designed to help home health agencies throughout the United States reduce hospital readmissions. This innovative program, called SmartCare, operates conceptually via an in-home nurse call button. Patients are encouraged to utilize SmartCare for all concerns post discharge and beyond. CST’s around-the-clock staffed care center establishes customized protocols on a per patient basis in conjunction with the patient’s home health agency.
Care center representatives assist patients with scheduling physician appointments, medication reconciliation, arranging transportation, scheduling home care visits, and more. SmartCare provides home health agencies with detailed patient reports, which can identify trends and opportunities to further enhance patient care and reduce hospital readmissions.
“The goal of SmartCare and our partnership with Critical Signal Technologies is to provide a smoother transition for the patient from the hospital to the home, which will improve care and ultimately reduce unplanned readmissions,” said Mike Lee, president of Medline’s Home Care division. “CST’s advanced patient monitoring technologies coupled with Medline’s industry leading supply management and clinical programs, will greatly enhance a home health agency’s ability to provide superior patient care and enhance their value as a partner to their community hospitals.”
In addition, SmartCare is an all inclusive program. Beginning with the core service offering of the in-home nurse call button, it includes the ability to implement telehealth services. The SmartCare program can monitor and measure a full array of patient vital signs from the comfort of a patient’s home, including blood pressure, weight, blood glucose levels, heart rhythm regularity, heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2) and body temperature. Changes are monitored by CST’s fully trained and certified staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Critical information is relayed to first responders, personal doctors and family members in case of emergency.
Founded in 2006 by security and medical monitoring expert Jeffery S. Prough, Critical Signal Technologies is the nation’s largest independent provider of personal emergency response systems. CST’s products and services are all intended to help people overcome the challenges that can come from disabilities, chronic health conditions, infirmity, or simply from living alone. In 2009, CST acquired Link to Life, adding the team and resources of one of the nation’s most respected monitoring and service companies. A pioneer in the field, Link to Life brought more than 30 years of premier monitoring and service experience to CST and its clients.
The nation’s leading provider of medical supplies to the home care industry and the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care products, Medline manufactures and distributes more than 125,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices and home care agencies and dealers. Medline is headquartered in Mundelein, Ill. and has more than 1,100 sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services. For more information on Medline, visit www.medline.com.