The ANNIE mobile app was developed by and for clinical VA staff. It is named to honor Lt. Annie G. Fox, who was the chief nurse at Hickam Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. She also was the first woman to receive the Purple Heart.

The ANNIE mobile app is one of many ways VA nurses use advancements in technology to reach and support patients. ANNIE delivers messages of encouragement, education, and reminders for patients with different clinical conditions.

Over 6500 Veterans actively use ANNIE.

VA nurse Theresa Tougas helps Shanae with the ANNIE app.

ANNIE, two nurses and their patients

Abigale Boerger relates a story of how ANNIE makes a difference for a Veteran she is taking care of in her role as telehealth nurse. This Veteran drives a truck and often settles in to check his blood pressure and take his medications at odd hours of the day and night. He reports that ANNIE is there when he needs “her.” Having ANNIE remind him to check his blood pressure and provide helpful education has improved his satisfaction with care.

Boerger says VA has been a wonderful career choice. She began working at VA straight out of nursing school. She is happy with her choice and enjoys making a difference in Veterans’ lives.

Boerger is a home telehealth nurse at the St Cloud VA medical center.

ANNIE helps with high blood pressure

Theresa Tougas is a nurse in primary care. She says ANNIE helped a patient improve her high blood pressure. The patient had come to the office several times with elevated blood pressure and discussed with Tougas her concerns about treatment.

Tougas and the patient jointly decided ANNIE could help the patient watch her blood pressure at home and give her feedback. After ANNIE told her she should seek treatment for her high blood pressure a few times, she called in and asked for medication treatment.

Meanwhile, ANNIE was helping her adjust her diet and exercise.

Nurses use advancements in technology to support patients in a healthier life outside of the traditional health care system. Nurses are transforming the health care system one patient at a time.

The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

Michelle A Lucatorto has a Doctorate of Nursing Practice and is a family nurse practitioner.

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Published on Mar. 26, 2020

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