With increasing knowledge about COVID-19, advancements in care are changing the way people recover from the virus — and helping curb its spread. At the onset of the pandemic, the two options for recovery involved either a hospital stay or total isolation at home, leaving many with nothing in between.
To help relieve this pain point for consumers, AdventHealth began to offer at-home patient monitoring that provides for peace of mind and the safety of a care team, along with the comfort of staying in one’s own home, filling a potentially dangerous gap in coronavirus care.
After assessing patients’ conditions, AdventHealth is able to provide them with an oximeter, thermometer, and app that keeps them connected with a nurse who can monitor their biometrics and help guide them through their COVID-19 recovery safely.
“This technology is a significant step in AdventHealth’s consumer-focused transformation that aims to extend clinical care beyond the walls of its hospitals,” Reetu Singh, senior medical director of clinical documentation integrity for AdventHealth, said. Singh was responsible for developing the clinical protocols and overseeing the rollout. “Patients are kept connected with their 24/7 care team, who can intervene before a health episode occurs. The information and insights gained from this monitoring can also be extremely helpful in the event that the patient needs more acute care.”
While the benefit to the patient is clear, such as improved outcomes and reduced need for hospital readmission, the technology also helps health-care professionals and the community.
“By safely monitoring lower-severity COVID-19-positive patients or persons under investigation [PUI] from their homes, health-care workers can focus their efforts on higher acuity patients in the hospital, reduce their exposure to the virus, preserve personal protective equipment, and ensure enough hospital beds are available to those in the community who need them,” Singh said.
Mary Pinkerton, senior manager of clinical support and patient safety for AdventHealth, led the implementation and deployment of the remote monitoring nursing teams, assembling a team that could provide both clinical and emotional support remotely to patients recovering at home.
“At a time when the world was living in such anxiety and unknown, we knew there was a need that we could uniquely meet to help keep people safe and ease their mind using the latest in connected care technology,” Pinkerton said. “We could hear in our patients’ voices that they needed emotional support at times through their recovery as well. Our remote monitoring nurses were there for their patients, however they were needed, whether it be an encouraging message to lift their spirits, joining in prayer, or even singing ‘happy birthday’ to those alone on their special day.”
So far, more than 8,000 patients have used at-home monitoring to recover safely from COVID-19 at home with the care of an AdventHealth nurse. As the pandemic introduces new challenges and opportunities to provide individualized care, the health system plans to continue implementing more consumer-centric offerings that meet patients where they are, even at home.