Acute Care Utilization Rates Drastically Decrease for Home Health Monitoring Patients on Vancouver Island

By Michelle Wright

At Island Health, we believe in assessing the value of the projects we undertake, and I was brought on to Island Health’s Home Health Monitoring (HHM) team to help evaluate the program and produce a report measuring the program’s overall success. One of the key factors I looked at was the use of acute care (inpatient admissions and ED visits) for clients who are eligible to participate in Home Health Monitoring at Island Health for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure.

The HHM program provides education and self-management support to clients, families and caregivers in their own homes. The emphasis of the HHM service is on chronic disease self-management and education, with support provided for heart failure and COPD. Clients are monitored for approximately 12 weeks.

As I began to dive into the data and number crunching, it quickly became obvious the HHM program was making a huge difference! We had already heard anecdotal and client survey feedback that our participants were very happy with the program but now we had evidence that it was also dramatically reducing the amount of hospital visits for those in the program, which is both good for them and helps to reduce overall costs to the health care system.

We compared HHM participants’ hospital visits pre- and post-HHM to see how the program affected their readmission rates.

Here are some of the major findings from our research:

  • On average for the 237 clients included in the analysis, ED visits were reduced by 66 per cent for clients 180 days pre-HHM versus 180 days post-HHM.
  • Days spent in in-patient care for clients admitted to hospital was reduced by 90 per cent 180 days pre-HHM versus 180 days post-HHM.
  • Inpatient admissions overall were reduced by 86 per cent 180 days pre-HHM versus 180 days post-HHM.

These findings, along with significant reported improvements from clients in their ability and confidence in self-care and self-management of their condition, confirm that this program is making a significant positive difference in the lives of our patients.

As we continue to examine and analyze the effectiveness of our program and identify areas for improvement, we’d love to hear from clients who have participated in telehomecare monitoring programs to find out if our positive results match their own lived experience. Also, we’d love to hear from other programs about evaluations they may have conducted. If you have any questions about our findings, please don’t hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 250-740-2644 and visit us at to learn more.

Rural Health: Home Health Monitoring in Gold River from Island Health on Vimeo.

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About the author
Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright, BSC, Health Information Science, joined Island Health’s Home Health Monitoring team to conduct an evaluation of the program. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in Health Information Science at the University of Victoria and is committed to improving patient engagement through advances in health informatics.