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Strategy spotlight, Remote Home Monitoring

Published on Wednesday January 10, 2024

Care close to home

Centra's stride towards furthering its strategy of One Centra took a significant leap on March 6, 2023, with the launch of the Remote Home Monitoring (RHM) Program. This initiative, conceived during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to extend care directly to patients' homes and ultimately redefine the patient experience.

At its core, the program seeks to curtail readmissions and repeated emergency department visits while helping patients manage multiple chronic conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, COPD and hypertension. 
After a patient is referred to the program and chooses to participate, they are equipped with a comprehensive kit that includes a tablet, digital scale, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, and heart rate monitor. These medical devices connect via Bluetooth technology to the tablet which automatically transmits the data to Centra where it is monitored by members of the Command Center Team. Additionally, the tablets are set up to remind patients to take their medications and to complete a daily survey to gauge their well-being. 

Beginning with 15 patients, the program has gained traction over time and has received over 120 referrals from across Centra’s 9600 square mile service area since its launch. Although not all patients who qualified have chosen to participate, the average census has now grown to around 50 patients.

Tab Sprouse, Senior Director of Transport Services and the Call Center, shared that the RHM Team has received feedback that patients like the extra support they receive through the program. With an average “length of stay,” between 48 to 90 days, the program emphasizes proactive care and continuous support which helps patients to establish better health habits.
This proactive approach to patient care is an example of Centra’s strategic theme of One Centra in action. The goal of One Centra is that teams within our organization would work as one system in their approach to service standards, allocation of resources and delivery of healthcare. RHM is a prime example because the program has served patients from PACE and CMG Offices in addition to those who received care at one of our hospitals. 

Further proof of the program’s success is the continuous patient feedback which has been overwhelmingly positive. Tab explained, “Patients are asked on their tablet surveys, ‘My experience with the service has been positive.’ 60% of respondents have said that they strongly agree and 40% have said that they agree with none answering with neutral or lower.” 

The launch and subsequent success of the program has been made possible through multiple individuals and teams collaborating across Centra which included Dr. Kayla Long, Keller Johnson, Bailie Towles and Brian Blackwell in addition to the entire Call Center, Command Center, Patient Access, Informatics and the Community Paramedics Teams. From an executive perspective, Tab Culbertson played a pivotal role in championing the initiative and working to eliminate barriers to the project’s progress. Lastly, the Centra Foundation made it possible for patients to participate with no additional costs in the first year, allowing improved health outcomes to be prioritized over nominal reimbursements.

It's evident that the project has paid dividends in further a positive patient experience while also enabling better follow-up and wrap around care.