Emily Tran and Cory Blumenfeld, representatives from CoHealth, visited CKHA to help promote the app to patients and staff (Submitted photo)

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is launching a new digital tool designed to improve patient’s discharge experience.

CoHealth, a web-based app (formerly called Dash MD), launched throughout CKHA in September.

Available for both IOS and Android, CoHealth assists patients throughout their care by providing patients with information in one convenient place.

Upon discharge, patients who download the free app will have access to aftercare instructions and have the ability to use the app to manage follow-up appointments, medication reminders and aftercare tasks such as changing bandages. The app also assists patients to locate nearby healthcare providers for services such as physiotherapy or pharmacy as well as suppliers for medical equipment.

“Being discharged from the hospital can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for patients and their families,” says Lisa Northcott, Vice President & Chief Nursing Executive, CKHA. “By empowering patients and families to manage their care after discharge we help ensure that our patients have a successful recovery, without complications or readmission. CKHA is committed to providing Patient and Family Centred Care and CoHealth is another tool to help us achieve our goal.”

CoHealth may be used in addition to or as an alternative to other discharge tools at CKHA. Earlier in 2018, CKHA launched Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS), which are paper based and use a teach-back method to ensure patients understand their instructions. PODS information is also available through the CoHealth app for Rehab and Stroke units, as well as Medicine for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pneumonia and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), and Surgery for a number of hip and knee surgeries.

“I believe that CoHealth will be a great support for patients as they follow their discharge instructions and manage their follow up care,” says Jill Chalmers, Patient Advisor, CKHA. “This is another available tool to ensure patients have the information that they need in order to have a successful recovery.”

CoHealth was founded by Zack Fisch Rothbart. Following surgery and discharge from an Ontario hospital, he developed a complication that could have been prevented if he better understood his discharge instructions. The complication progressed to the point that his leg almost required amputation. Zack created CoHealth in the hope of preventing such complications and medical emergencies from happening to other patients.

Customized discharge instructions are currently available through 16 health systems, including CKHA, with plans to be in 30 health systems by the end of 2018.

For more information about CKHA and services available at CKHA, please visit www.ckha.on.ca.