UVA, Cville-Based Startup Work to Reduce Patient Readmission

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The University of Virginia Health System is currently signing up patients with chronic health problems to have a nurse track their progress daily from the comfort of home. It's a partnership between UVA and a Charlottesville-based high-tech startup.

The UVA Health System's first coordinated care center, or C-3, is now open in Charlottesville to provide follow-up care for patients sent home from the hospital.

The university is teaming up with Broad Axe Care Coordination. The company installs home tele-monitoring equipment to track a patient's recovery by prompting patients with questions about their health.

A daily snapshot is sent to a C-3 nurse for review. If something seems out of the ordinary, that nurse follows up with the patient and primary care physician. The goal is to reduce the number of patients returning to the hospital.  

"We want to take care of patients at home. That's where patients want to be. So, if it provides us an opportunity to intervene early so the patient doesn't end up in the emergency room or end up re-hospitalized, that's what we really want to achieve," said UVA Health System Administrator Maggie Short.

"Either the patients are feeling the love from us or maybe they're afraid of getting yelled at by us, but chances are we're going to make sure they're following the instructions they've been given by the doctor," said Kirby Farrell, Broad Axe CEO.

C-3 hopes to reduce UVA's patient readmission rate by at least 20 percent.

Right now, C-3 services are available for heart attack, heart failure, COPD, and pneumonia patients in central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. UVA expects to enroll 1,000 patients in the program's first year.

Two additional C-3 locations will open in Martinsville and Wise by December.