We’ve all experienced firsthand how remote healthcare has enabled safe, consistent, high-quality care since the beginning of the pandemic. Now the question becomes how to best leverage all the technology and workflows that are now in place to bring sustainable improvements ongoing. A great place to start is implementing a coordinated virtual care center (VCC).
A VCC drives operational efficiencies by providing a single point of access—a “command center”—and centralized resource management. This helps ensure patients receive the highest quality care, from triage to diagnosis to referral to remote healthcare and monitoring. This can be challenging to accomplish with standalone telehealth point solutions. Having a centralized command center reduces capability and functional gaps that could decelerate your overall telehealth efforts.
Even just a few multi-screen workstations installed in centralized locations are enough to get started. When you centralized your virtual care center into a single command center, you improve resource allocation and lower costs, driving near immediate improvement in operational efficiencies. This model also enables you to easily monitor quality and measure effectiveness of your programs.
Having a virtual care center in place greatly enhances care collaboration by enabling real-time communication between staff, providers, specialists, patients and patient families. This keeps everyone on the same page in regard to the patient’s care plan, which helps improve patient care and reduce errors and enhance adherence. This real-time engagement can give both the patient and the patient’s family greater peace of mind, which can improve patient satisfaction.
According to research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (PHRQ), nearly 20% of patients experience some type of adverse event in just the first three weeks after discharge from a hospital or emergency department, most of which are preventable. Having a virtual care center in place can reduce the likelihood of complications and readmissions by enabling clinics and acute care facilities to remotely monitor these patients at home throughout this critical post-discharge period.
Remote patient monitoring
Clinics with a large population of patients with chronic conditions can use a VCC to more effeciently monitor these patients. This can be especially beneficial for patients with complex conditions like chronic heart failure, COPD, and diabetes. Together with remote healthcare devices like pulse oximeters, EKG devices and glucose monitors, a VCC enables clinics to quickly identify problematic issues and proactively intervene. The result is improved chronic disease management, reduced readmissions, and improved outcomes and reimbursement.
The importance of video in a Virtual Care Centers
The value of video in the success of a VCC cannot be overstated. Video closely mirrors the experience of face-to-face interactions. This is extremely important in the delivery of personalized care outside of the clinic. High quality 4k video provides true-to-life color, motion and skin tone for more effective assessments. It’s also important to offer patients a single-click video experience using devices they already have available, such as tablets, smartphones, or desktop computers.
When video is integrated into remote healthcare, it can help improve patient outcomes, reduce the cost of care delivery, and generate a positive return on investment across the care continuum.
Mercy, the sixth largest Catholic health system in the U.S., is a prime example of how a VCC can impact operations and patient care. Mercy integrated Vidyo conferencing software into its central TeleICU command center, SafeWatch. Powered by Vidyo and Philips® eCare Manager, SafeWatch provides around-the-clock telemedicine monitoring of critically ill patients at 15 different hospitals. Over 450 Philips TeleICU monitored beds have been equipped with Vidyo enabling Mercy’s critical care doctors and nurses to observe and visually communicate with ICU patients, their families and bedside healthcare staff from a central command center. As a result, Mercy was able to reduce mortality rates by 40%.
Having a VCC enables patients to receive high quality medical consultations regardless of their location. This leads to more accurate assessments and triage, and more timely access to appropriate care.
Enabling your VCC
VidyoHealth is built for end-to-end digital healthcare delivery. We help clinics easily reach more patients across the care continuum while improving operational efficiencies and lowering costs. With a video-enabled VCC, clinics can improve care collaboration, reduce readmissions and post-discharge complications, better manage populations with chronic disease, and enhance the patient experience.