Avamere, IBM partner to study how to reduce readmission rates

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Avamere will use sensors and IBM cognitive computing to monitor daily activities of residents and patients, identify risks and minimize hospital readmission rates. (Photo: Avamere Family of Companies)
Avamere will use sensors and IBM cognitive computing to monitor daily activities of residents and patients, identify risks and minimize hospital readmission rates. (Photo: Avamere Family of Companies)

Senior living company Avamere is hoping that a six-month study with IBM will reveal factors that affect 30-day hospital readmission rates among its residents and patients and improve care at its senior living and skilled nursing centers.

“By collaborating with IBM Accessibility Research, we can create smart retirement and nursing home environments to help us gain insights into physical and environmental conditions,” John W. Morgan, CEO of the Avamere Family of Companies, said in a blog post on an IBM website.

Wilsonville, OR-based Avamere has more than 40 independent living, assisted living, transitional care and skilled nursing facilities in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, according to its website. The company also has five ancillary companies that offer home health, hospice and contract post-acute rehabilitation. Select locations are serving as research sites for the IBM project.

At those sites, Avamere is working with IBM researchers to monitor movement, air quality, gait analysis, factors that could lead to falls, and daily activities including personal hygiene, sleeping patterns, incontinence and trips to the bathroom, according to a press release. IBM then plans to leverage its cognitive computing capabilities to analyze these streaming sensor data to help Avamere create and maintain a contextual understanding of its residents.

“Helping Avamere uncover new insights can help family members, caregivers, nurses and physicians identify potential risks and better prescribe care to minimize hospital readmission,” Ruoyi Zhou, Ph.D., director of accessibility research at IBM, said in a statement. The results could transform the way people age in place, she added.

Noting that Avamere previously developed and initiated advance care management models and participated in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service's Bundled Payments for Care Improvement pilot program, Morgan called the IBM project “the next step in how Avamere will deliver patient-centered quality care and outcomes through smart senior living settings.”

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