Seamless telehealth

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Expand Veterans timely access to care

Philips telehealth expands access to critical care services by connecting patients in remote (rural) areas to specialists making real-time diagnosis easier and personalized care possible.
At 3,800,000 square miles, the United States is big enough to cover half the moon’s surface. America’s sprawling geography, temperate climate and inviting topography have made it possible for the population to spread into all sorts of plains, nooks and crannies rather than cluster in a few habitable pockets. That distribution – a boon to agricultural, industrial, and cultural diversity – has presented a peculiar challenge to healthcare: How do we deliver high quality care to more people in more places, and do it at lower cost?

The challenge is especially acute for America’s largest integrated health care system, the Veterans Health Administration (VA), which serves nine million Veterans each year at more than 1,200 health care facilities. The VA has long been a pioneer in leveraging technology to provide high-quality, patient-centered health care to Veterans. Innovative telehealth solutions are helping the VA improve the quality of care for the nearly five million Veterans who live in rural communities. Provider shortages, long distances to health care facilities and few transportation options often hinder Veterans from obtaining timely, quality care for those who live in rural communities.

That’s why an estimated 45 percent of the VA’s 2.1 million annual telehealth encounters are with rural patients. Rural Veterans use telehealth to access high-quality clinical care from their homes or from clinical locations close to where they live. Telehealth visits between a rural Veteran and a VA primary care physician or specialists have increased 352 percent in the last seven years.

Hospital telehealth: connecting Veterans to critical care

The Philips eICU program is part of a suite of enterprise telehealth programs that use use a proactive care model to clinically transform the ICU, medical/surgical units and home healthcare to address growing clinician shortages while improving the quality of care for our Veterans.

Blending medicine with technology, this care model leverages clinical expertise, patented processes and innovative solutions to improve care delivery. Hospitals utilizing the Philips eICU program were shown to reduce mortality by 26 percent and length of stay by 20 percent in a recent large, multi-center study of 119,000 patients.
telehealth eICU
Since its inception, the Philips eICU program – connecting care with digital solutions and services that span the health continuum – has grown substantially within the VA. In 2014, the VA partnered with Philips to establish two enterprise telehealth centers – in Cincinnati (VISN 10) and Minneapolis (VISN 23) – where clinicians provide remote care to veterans not only in their territories, but also in rural and suburban areas that have limited access to ICU facilities. The telehealth team uses advanced analytics and technologies to coordinate more timely care for Veteran ICU patients.

Home telehealth: supporting Veterans and caregivers anywhere

With the challenges that Veterans in rural areas face – long travel times to health care facilities and a shortage of health care providers and specialists – telehealth provides the VA the opportunity to deliver high-quality care close to or in the home. With many Veterans, like the rest of the U.S. population, living with one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and depression, simple and convenient access to care is imperative to avoiding hospital stays and remaining independent at home.
Philips home telehealth programs provide daily connection between post-acute caregivers and patients, combining technology and clinical process to support patients living with chronic conditions. With in-home monitoring devices, clinicians can monitor patients’ health remotely, identify symptoms and intervene early to help avoid hospital admissions and emergency department visits. We also provide educational tools to help improve patient knowledge, self-care abilities and confidence which can lead to behavioral changes that make a difference in health and quality of life.
home telehealth
[i] https://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/docs/InfoSheet_Telehealth_FINAL.pdf. Accessed Oct. 2, 2018.

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We work in partnership with health systems to help drive innovation, support their financial and operational goals, and enable their transformation in a value-driven era. The result can be both operational excellence and more connected, predictive and personalized care delivery.

 

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