A perfect storm of challenges was holding a shadow over the healthcare and in home care network in the United States for some time. When the Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010, it was hoped that this would open the door for millions of Americans who couldn’t afford care previously would suddenly have the opportunity to enjoy affordable care. However, in order to help pay for this legislation, in home care reimbursements through Medicaid had to be cut, and that meant greater pressure on home care agencies and others to find more affordable solutions to deliver optimal care and help save money at the same time.
Numerous technological companies, including Philips, have been working to improve telehealth, or the ability for doctors and nurses to stay connected with their patients, especially when they transition home from a hospital or nursing home setting. TeleICU is designed to provide proactive care. It helps doctors and nurses to spot subtle changes in a patient to highlight which ones need more immediate attention.
“TeleICU technology is a powerful asset in providing proactive care by making quick catches around subtle changes in patient care and showing which patients need immediate attention,” said Dana Gilbert, Chief Strategy and Population Health Officer, Presence Health. “Since implementing Philips’ TeleCareManager 4.1 as part of the beta testing process under IRB governance, we have been able to improve workflow efficiency for our clinicians and increase the number of patients that our team can oversee at a time while maintaining improved patient outcomes and thereby giving Presence Health one more way to provide quality, compassionate care.”
While this technology is first focused on hospital settings, it also helps medical professionals monitor patient vitals once they’re discharged and sent home. If there are problems spotted with some of the information teleICU or related software detects, it can allow doctors to get ahead of potential problems, thus reducing the risk of a readmission.
The federal government has been placing increased pressure on hospitals to reduce these readmission rates and through technology, increase communication between doctors, hospital administrators, and patients, it appears to be making a positive impact. In fact, EmoryHealthcare, through the implementation of Philips’ teleICU platform, reduce readmissions and saved $4.6 million over period of 15 months, in comparison to 15 months prior to implementation[i].