Pender Memorial Hospital and NHRMC Home Care Recognized for Innovation in Caring for Patients through Telehealth Program

November 03, 2014
BURGAW – Pender Memorial Hospital and NHRMC Home Care have received national recognition for a telehealth program designed to help reduce hospital readmissions for congestive heart failure patients. Pender Memorial Hospital was one of only five critical access hospitals in the country recognized by The National Rural Health Resource Center for innovation in delivering health care in rural communities.

The Critical Access Hospital Recognition was established by the National Rural Health Resource Center and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to recognize the excellent work in critical access hospitals throughout the country. Pender Memorial Hospital and NHRMC Home Care are affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center. NHRMC Home Care serves an eight-county region.

NHRMC Home Care's telehealth program provides monitoring equipment in the patient's home to monitor vital signs and weights daily. Any changes in the patient's condition prompts an appropriate intervention by the cardiac nurse to help prevent serious problems from developing.

"The telehealth program assists patients in self-managing their cardiac disease and reducing their frequency of hospitalizations," said Tina Davis, RN, director of NHRMC Home Care. "This helps allow cardiac patients to live independently at home, something very important to them."

The program is already having success in reducing complications that often lead to patients being readmitted o the hospital. Since January 1, NHRMC Home Care has enrolled 223 patients, 159 of which had prior hospitalizations. Of those 159, only nine were readmitted for congestive heart failure within 30 days, one-third the rate for similar patients who were readmitted in 2013.

"Receiving national recognition for our telehealth program is a great honor and achievement, and I am thankful for our team members who made this possible," said Pender Memorial Hospital President Ruth Glaser. "Our organizational goal is to provide patients with quality care in the most efficient manner and to provide the essential resources to our community members who often lack the resources and live far from medical care."

Pender Memorial Hospital is critical access hospital affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center whose mission is to provide quality healthcare to the citizens of Pender County and surrounding communities. This facility has been serving area residents since 1951.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 6,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly.