Mazzoni Center to Implement Remote Patient Monitoring

Mazzoni Center to Implement Remote Patient Monitoring

The Sarah Ralston Foundation has announced the recipients of its Fall 2023 Innovative Project Support Grants. One of those grants, to Mazzoni Center, will enable a new Remote Patient Monitoring program aimed at creating ease of service for those with chronic medical conditions

“Innovative projects develop, extend, test, and evaluate approaches to challenges,” said Lynette Killen, Executive Director of the Sarah Ralston Foundation. “Innovative initiatives should be more effective than their prevailing approaches and should ultimately displace them.”

Examples include projects intended to discover new and better ways of solving pervasive problems that impact older adults, seemingly small interventions that when scaled, can have a significant impact on addressing a big problem, and the projects should be managed by entrepreneurial leadership teams who are skilled at testing new ideas.

When Mazzoni Center was founded as Lavender Health Project over 40 years ago much of the Center’s focus was on the AIDS epidemic. Over four decades, HIV has become what is no longer a death sentence, but now a chronic condition. Mazzoni Center’s patients are living longer lives, and are facing new health challenges as older adults with additional impediments in receiving the critical services necessary to detect and address those challenges.

Those impediments include the same obstacles of time availability and mobility (both physical mobility and transportation) that face many seniors. They also include other, more specific obstacles, such as discomfort with and distrust of the medical system, often due to past trauma, that are particularly prevalent in the LGBTQ+ (and especially transgender) community.

The development of a “Remote Patient Monitoring” program at Mazzoni Center will create a game-changing innovative approach to addressing the needs of the LGBTQ+ seniors in our health center practice who are facing chronic conditions, as eligible and appropriate patients can be equipped with items such a scales, blood pressure cuffs, and glucometers that, connected through the internet, will enable Mazzoni Center medicals providers the ability for ongoing monitoring, lessening the need for in-person visits. It will also help them overcome many of the obstacles that have impeded care in the past.

“Remote patient monitoring will provide real-time transmission of health data, like blood pressures, weights, and blood glucose levels, and notify Mazzoni staff when they are outside set limits,” says Stefan Lynch, Mazzoni Center’s Director of Nursing and Integrated Services. “This will support data accuracy and support our providers’ ability to make quick adjustments to care plans for eligible patients with chronic conditions like hypertension, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. Because a patient enrolled in our RPM program will be able to collect health data in the comfort of their home, it will reduce the burden of frequent appointment scheduling and time spent traveling to and from our office.”

“The spring grant cycle, which funds general operating expenses for our nonprofits was a great way to launch the Sarah Ralston Foundation and establish important connections throughout the community. The Innovative Project Support Grant Cycle is another layer,” said Ben Hoyle, the newly elected president of the Sarah Ralston Foundation Board of Directors. “Supporting innovative programs and projects has the potential to open doors that lead us to new ways of serving our elders. The thought, research, and creativity that goes into these programs are next level. We anticipate some terrific results will come out of the funding.”

Mazzoni Center will begin enrolling eligible patients for the remote monitoring program in March 2024.