‘It’s time to step on the gas’
RENTON, Wash. – Providence St. Joseph Health launched one of the largest telehealth networks in the country in April, and now the health system is scaling its home monitoring services.
“We haven’t fully embraced home monitoring yet, but we’re looking at it this year,” said Dr. Todd Czartoski, chief medical technology officer at Providence St. Joseph Health. “It’s a gradual process, but now is the time to look at it on a bigger scale.”
Providence St. Joseph Health’s Virtual Health System delivers telehealth services for acute stroke, mental health, direct-to-consumer and after-hours hospital care to more than 100 facilities across the Western United States. It connects consumers and providers through more than 50 programs led by 1,500 providers.
Home monitoring is currently offered to people with congestive heart failure and other fragile conditions, Czartoski said. The health system is looking to eventually create a hospital-at-home model for patients with a broader range of chronic conditions.
“Now is the time to step on the gas,” he said, since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has expanded its reimbursement model to include more telehealth. “This is a huge opportunity for us to do a paradigm shift where we can spread our expertise. One-on-one visits are no longer working economically.”
One program in the system called Express Care is offered to consumers through the Providence St. Joseph Health Connect mobile app, which allows users to schedule an appointment, view their health records and message their provider. Patients had 10,000 video and home visits using Express Care last year, Czartoski said.
Another program called the Patient Engagement Center is a portal that connects users to doctors, classes, products and feedback channels based on their needs.
“We’re leveraging technology to extend the reach of our caregivers, spreading clinical services across geographies,” said Czartoski. “This allows us to serve patients regardless of where they live and strengthen the connections made by our health system.”