AHMC Readmissions Project Receives $100,000 Grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation
A program launched last year by nurses and clinical experts at UVM Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center and focused on reducing readmission rates for patients with chronic diseases or conditions has received a financial boost from one of the nation’s largest health foundations.
Mother Cabrini Health Foundation announced today that the Alice Hyde Readmissions Project has received a $100,000 grant through the organization’s 2021 grant program. The project, which launched in October of 2020, is focused on reducing 30-day hospital readmission rates for patients with specific, chronic disease states through providing patient education, at-home tools and resources, and coordinating follow-up care.
After launching in October, the program initially focused on patients diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, developing online educational resources to help patients manage their condition at home and know when to connect with their health care provider for routine follow-up care or to address emergent symptoms. The project also received donations through Alice Hyde Philanthropy Department, which funded the purchase and distribution of more than 100 digital scales to Congestive Heart Failure patients in the community.
“A major focus for us is teaching patients how to take care of themselves at home and better manage the disease they’re diagnosed with,” said Gabrielle Scott, RN, Clinical Educator. “We know these disease states are recurring and really prevalent in our area. The Readmissions Project is a great opportunity to give our community the tools they need at home to be able to take care of themselves and live their lives to the fullest.”
The project recently expanded its focus to include patients diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition resulting from damage to the small airways in the lungs which causes obstructed airflow. In addition to educational resources, the project is also providing patients with tools like pulse oximeters to help them manage their condition at home. It’s work Troy King, a registered nurse and certified tobacco treatment specialist, says can dramatically benefit those who suffer from COPD, the leading cause of which in the United States is smoking.
“Helping patients not only make the lifestyle changes to improve their health, but giving them the knowledge and the tools to manage their COPD on a day-to-day basis means we can do more of that one-on-one, patient specific work that’s so important when it comes to achieving success,” said King. “Patients need care that’s reflective of their life and lifestyle and their support system.”
Tammy Reynolds, Alice Hyde’s AVP of Nursing Operations, said the grant funds will help the project in multiple ways, with about half of the money funding a part-time clinical position – a Registered Nurse – to help manage the program and connect with patients. The remaining portion of the funds will be used to purchase disease management tools for patients, and develop educational materials focused on additional disease states such as diabetes.
“It’s critical that people know when to come to the hospital to get care for their health problems,” said Reynolds. “But it’s as important that our patients have the resources and the knowledge to keep themselves healthy after leaving the hospital. That’s our goal with this project – it’s a resource for patients when they’re in the hospital, and after they leave as well.”