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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Heart Failure Study at TREI/HMHEB

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

As baby boomers age and face increasing health care issues, we must work to increase the efficiency of chronic disease management and care. And one new study by The Research and Education Institute at Texas Health Resources aims to do just that.

The five-year study, made possible by a $1 million grant from AT&T Corp., utilizes Internet and phone technology to reduce heart failure hospitalizations at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital. Heart failure patients typically are hospitalized multiple times a year for several days. This program allows caregivers to intervene early with medication, and hopefully will prevent people from being hospitalized.

Patients who enroll in the study will use the phone or Internet to check in daily, report their weight, and answer a few questions about their symptoms. If a patient’s answers indicate worsening symptoms, a nurse will be prompted to contact the patient by phone and work with the doctor to modify the patient’s care.

Patients, physicians, payers of health care and hospitals all stand to benefit if studies like this one can demonstrate practical ways that we can use technology to increase the efficiency of chronic disease care.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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