Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (March 9, 2017) – Kathryn H. Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, the vanAmeringen Chair in Nursing Excellence and a Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) has been selected for induction to the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame by Sigma Theta Tau International. The ceremony will take place at the 28th International Nursing Research Congress, which will take place July 27-31, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. The STTI Hall of Fame was developed to recognize nurse researchers for their lifetime achievements in and contributions to research and to mentoring future nurse researchers.

“My research team and I are deeply honored to receive this prestigious award. As a nurse researcher, I am grateful to my team, the patients, clinicians, and students who have participated in this journey,” said Bowles. “I am fortunate to have the leaders and members of Sigma Theta Tau as role models over the last 25 years and I am so thankful for the support and nomination from three highly successful leaders, Dr. Norma Lang, Dean Louise Fitzpatrick, and Dr. Penny Feldman who are inspirational mentors.”About Dr. Bowles

A former critical care nurse, Dr. Bowles observed that many times patients were not prepared physically, did not have enough knowledge to take care of themselves at home, and were not getting referred to the necessary post-acute care, such as skilled home care.

With funding from multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, Bowles discovered a unique set of high-risk factors, ranging from a patient’s walking ability, to length of hospital stay, to having an in-home caregiver, that determined which older patients were most likely to need continued skilled care after discharge.After 10 years of research on these high-risk factors, Bowles and her interdisciplinary team developed and validated a decision-support methodology that identified patients who need post-acute care, ensuring that high-risk patients were monitored and received adequate post-acute care plans when they went home. To put her risk-scoring tool into practice, she co-founded RightCare Solutions in 2012, the first nursing business seeded by Upstart, the University of Pennsylvania’s technology transfer host.

Through RightCare Solutions, Bowles and a team of experts incorporated the “Discharge Decision Support System” or D2S2, developed by her research team, into a software product that helps hospitals assess patients for post-acute care needs, optimizes workflow, and ultimately lowers the number of readmissions. In 2015, naviHealth acquired RightCare Solutions.

Throughout her career, Bowles’ research has focused on the use of information technology and health informatics to improve healthcare for at-risk older adults and support healthcare providers’ efforts to improve planning and provide transitional care following hospital discharge, thereby reducing hospital readmissions. Her ongoing studies, funded primarily by the NIH, include the development of decision support tools to determine the best site of care for those needing post-discharge services; telehealth technology applications; the effect of home care and post-acute referrals on patient outcomes; and evaluation of electronic health records.

Another program of research for Bowles involves using electronic monitoring and technologically-advanced devices that help patients monitor pulse rates, oxygen levels, weight, blood sugar and other health factors at home. In a past study, patients received stethoscopes and technology-assisted devices that allowed office-based nurses to hear heartbeats and breath sounds remotely. Engaging patients through telehealth technology – instead of keeping information and managing it exclusively through a physician’s office – allows patients to become partners with medical professionals in managing chronic conditions and post-discharge care, which improves self-care and helps prevent re-hospitalizations. Bowles received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania; her Master of Science in Nursing from Villanova University; and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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Editor’s Note: For a high-resolution image of Dr. Bowles, please contact Ed Federico in Penn Nursing’s Marketing & Communications Office.

About the University of Pennsylvania School of NursingThe University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing, is consistently ranked as one of the top graduate nursing schools in the United States, and is among the nation’s top recipients of nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & YouTube.