Remote care monitoring in Ascension Indiana and Ascension Texas enables greater access to care
In Ascension Indiana and Ascension Texas, remote care monitoring has successfully supported clinicians' ability to monitor and manage patients in their homes. To determine who is appropriate for remote care monitoring, patients are stratified based on risk and comfort with technology. For high-risk patients, a local team works with providers to provide an easy-to-use kit. The kit includes a tablet and peripheral devices that allow the Ascension team to monitor health data remotely, alert physicians when needed and connect directly with patients in their home over video. For tech-savvy or lower-risk patients with chronic diseases, data can be provided directly from consumers using online or mobile applications on their own devices. This information is then used by multidisciplinary teams, including physicians, nurse navigators, case managers and other allied health professionals, to intervene early when issues arise, preventing exacerbations, emergency department visits and hospital admissions. St. Vincent, part of Ascension Indiana, launched its remote care monitoring program in 2013. An improved solution under a new national agreement was implemented in September 2017 at St. Vincent, and in October 2017 at Ascension Seton Healthcare Family, part of Ascension Texas. "Consistent with our One Ascension work, the new model utilizes a single portal solution that allows the separation of patient populations by ministry, but still creates consistent care plans and pathways across Ascension," said Carrie Stover, MSN, NP-C , Senior Director Virtual Care. "This allows both ministry-specific and an enterprise view of programs and metrics." To date, patients in the two programs have participated in more than 60,000 monitored days, with patients reporting ease of use rates of more than 92 percent and overall patient program satisfaction of 94 percent. Additionally, data from St. Vincent and Ascension Seton has shown: More than 2,000 clinical interactions between staff and patients were performed to address biometric data alerts, medication adherence and reconciliation, follow-up care adherence, and questions regarding the need for provider or emergency visits. Patient adherence levels averaged in the 88 percent range Initial data from St. Vincent showed a 32 percent decrease in ED utilization Industry experts agree that high-quality remote monitoring programs improve the quality of care while decreasing the cost of chronic disease management. Ascension ministries are committed to collecting and reporting clinical results to inform future efforts. "This work has been so successful as a result of the determination and flexibility of the teams at Ascension Texas and Ascension Indiana along with Carrie Stover's leadership," said Chris Young, Vice President, Innovation. "This technological deployment in the home is one way we're fulfilling our Dual Transformation objective to empower people to navigate their own health journey." Members of the St. Vincent team include Victoria Andrews, Manager, Remote Monitoring; Denise Staschke, Director, Operations; and Melanie Holt Fauth, Indiana Executive. Members of the Ascension Seton team include Megan Mettry, Program Manager, Remote Monitoring; Jesus Kain, Program Manager, Remote Monitoring; and Kristi Henderson, who was recently selected to serve as Vice President, Patient Access and Care Delivery Transformation, Ascension Healthcare.