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VA Nurses Improve Care for Veterans Using Annie App

VA Nurses Jessica Goodnight (left) and Jessica Morton discuss the variety of topics and information available for Veterans subscribed to Annie.

Have you met Annie? Annie is on a mission to help Veterans stay focused on their self-care using notifications, reminders, and motivational messages.

No, Annie isn’t a person, but a VA text messaging system that can send automated messages to Veterans covering a variety of health-related topics.

In fact, with help from VA Nurses like Chancy Babb, Meagan Sinclair, Jessica Morton, and Jessica Goodnight, new subscriptions are being added for Veterans regularly. These nurses took initiative to educate themselves and created new subscriptions to improve processes for Veterans enrolled with the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System.

Sinclair and Babb were first inspired to create and pilot a new Annie subscription in Endoscopy after learning more about the program.

“We saw a need in Endo where Annie could be beneficial,” said Sinclair. “We were seeing a great deal of non-compliance when it came to pre-op instructions and, after almost a year of research and working with the national Annie team, we were able to launch the pilot.”

They enrolled patients after launching the new subscription and Annie got to work sending Veterans pre-op instructions in real time via text messaging. Sinclair and Babb collected data before and after the launch of their pilot and the results did not disappoint.

“We saw a striking difference,” said Sinclair. “We increased our numbers substantially in correct colon prep, correct clear liquid diet, Veterans following guidelines, and the cleanliness of the colon. That last one meant huge progress for us, as a cleaner colon means less time under anesthesia, and less chance of missing cancer.”

When Jessica Morton and Jessica Goodnight learned about the success their peers were seeing with Annie in Endo, they wanted to learn more.

“Jessica and I brainstormed ideas that would benefit our Veterans dealing with heart failure,” said Morton. “We wanted to provide a tool that would not only assist our Veterans with monitoring their weight, blood pressure, and heart rate, but also teach them how to monitor their symptoms.”

After learning more about Annie, Morton and Goodnight started the process to create a subscription of their own. Morton even uses the new subscription in her Diuresis Clinic to remind Veterans to track the numbers that are vital to their well-being.

“Our goal was to provide patients with a tool to increase their compliance with self-monitoring and how to manage their heart failure at home successfully,” said Morton. “We will be submitting our subscription to become nationally recognized, as there is nothing like it available. This would mean anyone within the VA system could utilize it at their facility, which has potential to benefit numerous Veterans throughout the Nation!”

Goodnight expressed her excitement with the process and gratitude for the opportunity.

“We are thankful to the Endo team nurses who brought Annie to our facility,” said Goodnight. “When we realized we could use Annie to help our heart failure patients, we couldn’t wait to pursue educating

ourselves to build this subscription. We are excited to see how many Veterans we can help with this new tool.”

Interested in Annie App? Download it here: Annie App for Veterans | VA Mobile

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