FACE THE CHALLENGE
Virtua Health's successful online engagement platform, Get Human Fast, enabled patients to interact with staff and physicians, which has expanded to virtual consultations, chatbots and RPM. The corporate health system has created six distinct lines of service supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The six virtual grooming programs are as follows.
First, telemedicine for emergency care.
"UCTH treats a variety of conditions with extended working hours 365 days a year through browser-based video visits," said Dr Tugen. Health.
“Conditions treated include COVID/URI symptoms, skin rashes, urinary tract infections, ear and eye problems, musculoskeletal injuries and more. The program began in March 2020 with COVID-only screenings and quickly expanded to provide a broader range of telehealth services at UCTH in July 2020."
Virtua Health launched COVID-19-specific UCTH services in early March 2020 and is now an integral part of the business, said Dr. Tarun Kapoor, Director of Digital Transformation for the Healthcare System.
"In terms of design, the UCTH services weren't set up as pages and pages with quizzes," he noted. “Virtua Health has embraced the concept of 'Become Human Quickly' and created virtual interactions with patients. What we soon discovered is that those first few minutes resonated with some of our audiences.”
Second, COVID Inpatient Remote Monitoring or IPRPM.
“Under the IPRPM program, hospitalized adult COVID patients with a pulse oximeter device can be discharged into the inpatient COVID-RPM program,” explained Skrzynski. "Once home, they are assisted by Virtua Health nurses who manage community outreach as well as physician-led telemedicine visits over the course of two weeks to support the patient's journey to wellbeing."
"First, staff and doctors cleverly designed a special kit consisting of a Bluetooth-enabled tablet, blood pressure cuff, scale and pulse oximeter to communicate virtually with these patients," he continued. "As the number of kits dwindled, Virtua Health quickly found that the program was just as successful with its video visitation technology platform powered by just a simple pulse oximeter."
This modified platform allowed staff to reserve kits for patients with conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic heart failure who needed access to blood pressure monitors and scales.
Third, COVID Emergency Department Remote Patient Monitoring or EDRPM.
"Under EDRPM, patients with COVID diagnoses deemed appropriate may be discharged from the ER and transferred to the EDRPM-COVID program," Skrzynski said. "Patients receive a fingertip pulse oximeter and one to three scheduled telemedicine visits to a doctor to ensure disease improvement."
Fourth, Care After COVID or Long Haulers Program.
"Care After COVID is a comprehensive, comprehensive care program for patients experiencing an increase in COVID symptoms for 30 days," explained Skrzynski. “Common symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, mental confusion, palpitations, hair loss, loss of muscle condition, and more.
"Patients fill out online questionnaires and are seen through video consultations for a lengthy initial assessment," he continued. "Follow-up visits are scheduled as needed, and the patient is released from the program when better."
Fifth, cardiothoracic preoperative introduction.
“Through virtual consultations, patients have a 'meet and greet' with their surgeon for preoperative assessment, care plan education, and instruction on in-hospital moves prior to surgery,” explained Skrzynski.
"The workflow of the cardiothoracic preoperative telemedicine program for adoption includes a sequence of steps to complete the virtual consultation," he continued. “In summary, immediately following a cardiac catheterization that presents abnormalities warranting cardiothoracic surgical evaluation, the patient has the opportunity to consult with a cardiac surgeon.
Family members and other caregivers can also be added to the encounter, which in turn allows for real-time feedback from the operating surgeon to support the patient's medical decision-making regarding the progression of the surgery.
"In this sense, digital interaction with patients allows cardiothoracic surgeons stationed at other locations within the Virtua Health business to communicate with patients on-demand without transportation delays," he added.
And sixth, warm transfer of inpatients to an outpatient social worker.
"This month, Virtua Health will launch its sixth telehealth program, inpatient warm transfer to an outpatient social worker, a federally mandated, quality-based payer reimbursement program for pregnant and behavioral health patients discharged from the hospital setting," said Skrzynski.
"Often patients have difficulty connecting with community social workers after discharge if they leave the hospital without instructions on how to stay in touch," she continued. “By engaging with the patient in a warm transfer via chatbot prior to discharge as part of the discharge process, the social worker is able to identify and remove any barriers to follow-up care.
As a result, staff expect better quality patient outcomes for these two patient populations.