When CoxHealth, a not-for-profit healthcare provider in southwest Missouri, USA, asked Philips to help implement virtual care throughout its hospital network, it wasn’t looking for a turnkey ‘out-of-the box’ solution. Unlike some hospital groups that leverage electronic intensive care units (eICU) and telehealth technology to outsource patient supervision for parts of the working day, CoxHealth wanted a solution staffed entirely by its own employees and that expanded beyond just intensive care units. Just as importantly, it wanted a solution that allowed its nurses and physicians to move seamlessly between the bedside and the virtual care team environment. CoxHealth believes that mutual trust and teamwork are key to optimizing the patient and staff experience in terms of staff satisfaction, retention, and technology acceptance, as well as improved patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction scores. It also believes that virtual care should enhance bedside care, not replace it. CoxHealth does not plan to reduce its bedside nurse-to-patient ratios.
“The excitement from our clinical staff about this [new way of working] is overwhelming. Because of this change in our approach to care, we have experienced nurses coming back to us that may have left before because they weren’t sure if they wanted to continue doing bedside care. Our staff has reported feeling better supported in providing the best patient care,” said Beth Polivka, Senior Vice President and System Chief Nursing Officer at CoxHealth. “In addition to improved clinical outcomes, including reduction in central line infections and readmissions, we also anticipate this being a big differentiator for us with recruitment of staff, and we look forward to welcoming even more talented people to our team.”
The roll-out of telehealth and virtual care, which rapidly accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been shown to improve patient care, patient experiences and outcomes. For example, an eICU program can reduce both mortality rates and the length of stay for a patient  and CoxHealth wanted to collaborate with Philips to innovate beyond just an eICU program to better serve its patient population. The solution that Philips co-created with CoxHealth is based on the close integration of Philips eCareManager enterprise telehealth software and Philips Capsule Surveillance software. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced clinical algorithms, eCareManager synthesizes patient data and translates it into meaningful information that will help CoxHealth clinical staff to identify patients most at-risk wherever they are in the hospital and allocate resources accordingly.