It's not every medical center that can take one nurse's idea and create the necessary tools to transform her concept into new software that helps patients.
She had an idea she believed could help heart patients. We listened. We thought she was on to something big. We were right. It could truly improve patients' lives.
Right now, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, a unique collaboration between a cardiovascular nurse and a team of digital developers is helping heart patients take control of their health.
“This app gives patients something self-motivating and tangible that isn't dependent on the physician,” Chumita says. “It’s a way for them to contribute to their own better health.” Click to tweet this story
Rose Chumita, a registered nurse at Ohio State's Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, knew that her patients were desperate to improve their heart function, but they didn't have the right resources to keep them accountable and monitor progress.
"After surviving a heart attack, many patients go through cardiac rehabilitation for three months," Chumita says. "When they leave rehab, it can feel like they've lost the connection to their care team. Some patients travel long distances to see us at the Ross Heart Hospital, sometimes with six months between appointments – that's a long time to wait to check on their progress."
Chumita decided to fill that time gap with an app. Her design could monitor health habits through interactive messaging and other personalized technology. Patients using the app are better equipped to lower blood pressure, weight and cholesterol. Plus, treatments often end up costing less.
Chumita's development team anticipates that the app also will lead to reduced hospital readmission rates among these patients.
Chumita was awarded the annual Elizabeth M. Ross Nursing Fellowship to facilitate the app's creation. The fellowship is part of a $1 million endowment made possible by a generous donation to support new efforts of Ross Heart Hospital nurses.