Virtual Nurse Assists Care Transition

The last decade has seen a steady increase in the resources that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) https://www.va.gov/health uses to treat Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) and COPD.

Both CHF and COPD are one of the most common reasons for admission and re-admission in VHA facilities. Multi-component care transition interventions can be effective but costly but one way to reduce the complexity of treatments and costs, is to offload some work to technology.

VA Office of Research and Development https://www.research.va.gov is sponsoring along with Northeastern University www.northeastern.edu the Clinical Trial (NCT02632552) titled “A Technology Assisted Care Transition” (TACT) Intervention for Veterans with CHF or COPD”

The study proposes a technology-assisted care transition founded on the concept of using a Virtual Nurse. The Virtual Nurse will be able to interact with veterans through different technology channels since the Virtual Nurse is a computer program designed to simulate a discharge nurse.

During the inpatient stay, the Virtual Nurse will appear on a computer touch screen and educate veterans with CHF or COPD about the important components of a care transition as well as how to send and receive text messages on their mobile phones.

Following discharge to the home, the Virtual Nurse will continue to coach veterans and their family members through a two-way computer-tailored text messaging made possible by VHA’s new “HealtheDialog” system.

Specific aims for the trial are to collect measures to guide implementing the program via a Virtual Nurse and the next step is to evaluate the intervention in terms of effectiveness and the impact on the budget.

The study proposes to use mixed methods to refine existing technologies to be used in the VA care transition setting to be followed by a multi-site randomized implementation trial. The plan is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Virtual Nurse intervention in twelve clinical teams and then gather information to do a broader rollout.

The estimated enrollment estimated to be 600 participants 18 and older is due to start February 19, 2018 with the study completion data expected to be September 30, 2020.

 

Go to https://clinicaltrials.gov then search for NCT02632552 for more information.

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