June 30, 2016
New CareCar helps heart, stroke patients transition to home
Kansas City, Kan. — An innovative new car is rolling across Kansas, helping heart and stroke patients in rural communities make a safe, effective transition from hospitals to their homes.
The University of Kansas CareCar, which debuted this spring, is being called a "mobile health solution." Staffed by two advanced practice nurses, the high-tech SUV visits homes of patients newly discharged from our hospital or other healthcare facilities.
The nurse specialists ensure patients are on track with their post-discharge care plans, answer questions, provide prescription reconciliation and conduct an environmental assessment. They also connect with patients' primary care physicians as needed.
The CareCar is part of a broader initiative call the Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative, launched by our hospital two years ago to improve prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke in the state. The collaborative has grown to encompass more than 25 healthcare facilities in western and central Kansas.
For heart and stroke patients, the first seven to 14 days after hospital discharge is a critical time in their recovery. Some forget instructions or misunderstand how to take medications properly, putting them at high risk for hospital readmission.
And that's where the CareCar comes in. It features reliable, high-speed internet connectivity and access to secure networks, medical supplies and other critical instruments. Armed with the technology, the car's caregivers can provide greater assurance that patients' transition from hospital to home is effective and safe.
While the vehicle is a first-of-its-kind resource, it also illustrates the hospital's commitment to lead, grow and transform healthcare deliver, said Bob Moser, MD, executive director of the Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative.
"We anticipate the number of CareCar visits will grow rapidly over the next few months as we expand our transitional care management program, which is bringing regionally based, advanced care providers to the doorsteps of patients," he said.
"As we explore its possibilities and improve on the concept, we will continue to expand the ways the CareCar can help us bring new treatment options to our patients no matter where they live in Kansas," he added.