NYCEDC Awards The New Jewish Home and Bluestream Health $50,000 for Pilot Aimed at Reducing Readmissions

Pilot will use “video-enabled nurse triage” to resolve acuities promptly, on site

NEW YORK, NY: March 8, 2016 — The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has awarded The New Jewish Home, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit geriatric health and rehabilitation systems, and Bluestream Health, a for-profit healthcare technology company, $50,000 for a pilot program that will use sophisticated technology to break the cycle of hospital readmissions and ER visits that plagues post-acute care, reducing the incidence of both.

The impact on individuals, their families and the health care system cannot be overstated. According to Health Care Costs and Spending in New York State, a 2014 report produced by the New York State Health Foundation, the average cost per readmission in New York State in 2010, the last year covered by the research, was $14,640.

The four-month Jewish Home-Bluestream pilot will involve 600 post-acute patients on Jewish Home’s Manhattan campus. From April through July, Jewish Home RNs will use Bluestream tablet technology to facilitate video consultations, at patients’ bedsides, with Jewish Home geriatricians — experts in wound care, treatment management, and other geriatric specialties — who may be off site or elsewhere on the campus. After examining patients using the tablet’s video interface, the doctors will recommend treatment, effectively stopping nascent problems in their tracks.

The ability of Jewish Home’s RNs to consult with off-site physicians is especially critical during weekday evenings and on weekends, when, as is the case at all skilled-nursing providers, the number of on-site Jewish Home staff geriatricians is lower than it is during the day. But the technology will be equally critical on weekdays, when it will provide access not only to doctors, but also to interpreters of ASL and many foreign languages. Such linguistic expertise is an essential feature of modern healthcare, nowhere more so than in a major urban center like New York City.

Another advantage of the Bluestream technology is its “one-click provisioning.” Rather than having to request a consult, wait for an answer to be sent to a pager or by some other means, engage in yet a third interaction to schedule a time for the consult, and perhaps go through the whole series of tasks a second time to secure the services of a translator, an RN using the Bluestream tablet need make only one request. Bluestream takes care of the rest. The Bluestream interface even shows RNs, in real time, how long the wait time will be before a physician and/or translator is available.

By streamlining the logistics of the consultation process, the Bluestream technology will allow Jewish Home’s RNs more time for direct patient care while ensuring that a consultation happens promptly. The technology will also empower the RNs by relieving them of tasks not directly related to patient care, and by increasing their responsibility for implementing the treatment plans recommended by the off-site medical experts.

“We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation for giving us the funding for what we believe is a game-changing technology for the geriatric care sector,” said Regina Melly, Senior Vice President of Business Development at The New Jewish Home. “We are confident that the results will show significantly improved patient outcomes, reduced costs and increased RN satisfaction.”

Said Brian Yarnell, President and Founder of Bluestream Health, “In The New Jewish Home we have found a provider eager to take advantage of our technology to move skilled nursing to the next level of patient care and operational efficiency. We are grateful to the New York City Economic Development Corporation for giving us the chance to demonstrate what we can do to curtail spending and improve care through the use of smart technology.”

The New Jewish Home has a track record of partnering with technology companies on technological innovations that improve patient outcomes. Collaborations with Panasonic Corporation of North America and Jintronix, Inc., allow post-acute patients to manage and expedite their recovery, often from home, achievements which earned Jewish Home McKnight’s Innovator of the Year award and the Riklis Prize in Agency Entrepreneurship from UJA-Federation of New York, respectively.

Funding for the Jewish Home-Bluestream pilot comes from NYC EDC Pilot Health Tech NYC, which provides underwrites innovative pilot projects that match early-stage health or healthcare technology companies with important local healthcare providers and stakeholders. The program was created to encourage the development of new technologies that address the Affordable Care Act, improve clinical care, reduce healthcare costs, and boost consumer wellness.


About THE NEW JEWISH HOME: Serving New Yorkers of all faiths and ethnicities for 167 years, The New Jewish Home (formerly, Jewish Home Lifecare) is transforming eldercare as we know it. One of the nation’s largest and most diversified not-for-profit geriatric health and rehabilitation systems, Jewish Home serves 12,000 older adults each year, in their homes and on three campuses, through short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing, low-income housing, and a wide range of home health programs. Jewish Home believes that high quality care and personal dignity are everyone’s right, regardless of background or economic circumstances. Technology, innovation, applied research and new models of care put The New Jewish Home at the vanguard of eldercare providers across the country. For more information, visit

About BLUESTREAM HEALTH: Bluestream Health was founded on the simple premise that every patient deserves seamless access to experts to improve health outcomes and is dedicated to helping people lead happier, healthier lives. Bluestream Health is the creator of the Bluestream Platform, a system that embeds on-demand access to remote experts in point of care systems in healthcare. For more information, visit