Hospital DSM program looks like a winner

Sunday, July 13, 2003

July 14, 2003

AKRON, Ohio - Akron General Hospital Medical Center claims the DSM program it implemented in 2000 for its heart-failure patients has saved money and lowered hospital admissions.

The hospital asked 150 patients to weigh themselves each morning with a computerized scale that's connected to the hospital's computer system via a telephone. The scale readouts are monitored by a nurse, and when the scale indicates a problem, the nurse calls.

The hospital studied 91 of the patients who participated and found costs for care dropped from $1.3 million to $723,000 after the program. Likewise, hospital admissions dropped from 182 to 107.

Industry experts estimate that patients with chronic illnesses account for about 70% of all healthcare expenses.