BOISE, Idaho – St. Luke’s Health System has launched a virtual care center that will serve as a suite of telehealth programs consolidated into one building.
“Merging technology and care delivery is the way we have to operate in order to be successful in population health,” said Krista Stadler, senior director of telehealth services for St. Luke’s Health System, in a statement. “Hiring an army of 20,000 people to deliver quality care services is not realistic. With the growing Idaho population and consumer demand for convenient care, we had to explore how we can use technology to achieve our goals and meet the needs of our patients.”
When St. Luke’s began offering telehealth services several years ago, the focus was an electronic intensive care unit that decreased the number of days people spent in the intensive care unit and improved overall patient outcomes. Today,the new virtual care center represents St. Luke’s ongoing commitment to giving patients access to quality care without barriers, including geographic and physical barriers.
“In addition to removing barriers, virtual care also helps St. Luke’s more effectively reach specific patient populations, such as people with chronic illnesses,” said Stadler.
A high-tech hub features a centralized medical team that includes physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and IT professionals. When fully operational, 350 team members will work to ensure the center provides continuous care, and telehealth services are available for patients at clinics, hospitals and homes throughout Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
There will be more than 60 virtual care stations with the ability to operate continually using two-way audio and video.
The services that will be supported include: at-home telehealth, inpatient telehealth and clinic telehealth consultation.
“This space will allow us to grow our services and capacity throughout the organization to ensure patients have access to the right care at the right time, regardless of geographic location,” Stadler said. “The virtual care center will serve as the epicenter of discovery and innovation as we act on this belief.”