Following a successful pilot last year, Trinity Health, the 93-hospital Catholic health system, is expanding virtual services to home health patients in seven states. The goal is to reduce visits to the emergency room as well as inpatient admissions for high-risk patients.
Livonia, Michigan-based Trinity is employing remote monitoring technology from Vivify Health, a remote care service provider from Plano, Texas. The vendor is supplying its Pathways +Home kits — customized 4G tablets paired with wireless vitals monitors to keep tabs on patients as well as to facilitate virtual visits, patient education and remote care management.
Trinity has targeted Medicare populations in seven states for the rollout: California, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland and Ohio. The health system expects to have it available in all those locations by August.
Since older patients will be involved, the Vivify Pathways +Home kits have been designed to be easy to set up and use right out of the box. “It’s an all-in-one, complete solution for seniors,” said Vivify Health CEO Eric Rock. “You turn it on and use it.”
More tech-savvy users can add other apps to the tablets, Rock noted.
According to Erin Denholm, president and CEO of Trinity’s home care division Trinity Health at Home — Trinity’s home care division — the technology allows visiting nurses to cover more patients without having to drive to see each person every time. “This optimizes the workforce, including those who want a less intense schedule,” she said.
Nurse care managers are able to monitor patients with metrics from home devices, and bring in physicians by telemedicine if necessary, according to Denholm. Trinity has already integrated the Vivify platform with the health system’s Cerner electronic health records, though Trinity uses other EHR vendors in some hospitals and hundreds of outpatient clinics.
“Patients will also be able to call us if they’re feeling distressed,” Denholm added. “They can call us every hour if they want.”
Because elderly patients who live by themselves can get lonely, this feature can help fight depression, Denholm said. “This allows for a safety net for people who are living alone,” she noted.
In the future, Trinity wants to add predictive analytics to Trinity Health at Home monitoring, Denholm said, to address potential health issues before they arise. “We’re going to be doing this in pursuit of the Triple Aim,” she said.
Photo: Trinity Health