Simple Technology Keeps Patients Connected to Care During COVID-19
“For the first time, many patients are experiencing what it’s like to be a rural patient where care feels out of reach,” says Blake Marggraff, CEO of CareSignal. “Patients who were once accustomed to frequent health touchpoints now feel the pressure to make do on their own — as providers experience staffing reductions and patients fear contracting COVID-19 and, thus, avoid health care visits.”
Here’s an excerpt from Marggraff’s new article:
UnityPoint Health serves more than 2 million people in nine regions throughout Iowa, western Illinois, and southern Wisconsin in hospital, clinic, and home care settings. With such a large patient population and service area, UnityPoint Health needed an easy-to-implement, scalable technology solution to maintain strong patient-provider relationships after the outbreak of COVID-19.
To address these needs, it implemented a remote patient monitoring platform to reach a growing volume of vulnerable patients through text messages and phone calls.
“We leveraged convenient, accessible technology to remotely monitor low-acuity COVID-19 patients who could be safely managed from home,” says Matthew Warrens, managing director of innovation at UnityPoint Health.
By leveraging SMS text messages and interactive voice response phone calls, UnityPoint Health gathered patient-reported symptom data and identified individuals who were experiencing worsening symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, shortness of breath) and were in need of a higher level of care.
Using these automated alerts, UnityPoint Health escalated 30 percent of its patients to a higher-touch model and connected them with clinicians to receive additional monitoring and support.
With ongoing visibility into patients’ health and symptoms, providers were able to graduate 87 percent of enrolled patients to self-care upon concluding the RPM program.
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