OSF HealthCare expands digital hospital program

Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare has expanded its digital hospital to patients transitioning out of the intensive care unit. The health system had been offering it to emergency patients at Peoria's Saint Francis Medical Center since August.

One of them explained how it works. Pam Anderson, of Morton, Ill., transferred to the digital hospital — aka her home — after being stabilized in the emergency department with COPD and atrial fibrillation. Staff equipped her with tech devices and medical supplies, including oxygen.

"The phone … you don't dial it. You just pick it up and it rings directly to the [digital health] center," she said in a Feb. 17 health system news release. "And once you do that, then somebody will appear on the iPad. So, if you do need something, you're actually speaking to someone [you can see]. You're not just talking on the phone. And, they're extremely prompt in answering. So there really isn't, in my opinion, a lot of technology involved. Thank heavens."

She wore a bracelet with a button that could immediately connect her with a care team member. Readings from a blood pressure cuff or pulse oximeter went directly to her EHR. Her schedule showed up each morning on the tablet, including twice-daily nurse visits. Three meals a day from the hospital kitchen were delivered to her doorstep. 

The OSF OnCall Digital Hospital also provides physical, speech and occupational therapy and IV infusions. The health system plans to expand it to other OSF hospitals and medical centers in the future.

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