OSF sees big gains from Best Buy partnership

Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare's partnership with remote monitoring company Current Health, a subsidiary of Best Buy, has lessened emergency department visits, lowered utilization of hospital resources and decreased overall cost of care for patients enrolled in the program.

The health system began working with Current Health in 2019 to provide 24/7 remote patient monitoring to individuals who were most likely to be at the emergency department, admitted to a hospital or readmitted to a hospital.

"We really sought out to help those individuals manage the chronic conditions that flare up and result in admissions to the hospital," Brandi Clark, vice president of digital care for OSF, told Becker's. "We wanted to help them manage their conditions at home better so that they don't end up in the hospital."

The program currently serves high-risk chronic disease Medicare Advantage patients and Medicaid patients and equips them with a tablet that allows them to connect with OSF's clinical team, along with a Current Health kit that is customized based on what chronic conditions the patient has and which peripheral devices are appropriate for them. 

"We monitor these patients and the outcomes over a long period of time," Ms. Clark said. "Patients can stay in the program as long as they want. We have some that stay for several months, and we have others who may have been in the program for over a year."

Ms. Clark said the program has seen big gains for the health system and its patients. 

"We do find that patients who are enrolled and engaged in the program are seeing less emergency department visits, lower utilization of hospital resources, and a corresponding decrease in the overall cost of care," she said. 

Patient feedback has also been positive, with patients stating that the remote monitoring program makes them feel cared for. 

"The feedback is largely that our patients feel like we care about them, and that we are helping them to take care of themselves," Ms. Clark said. 

When it comes to the future of remote patient monitoring and its role in healthcare, Ms. Clark says she believes its applications are endless. 

"The program that we use is designed specifically around chronic condition management, right? But the application goes across so many different disease processes," she said. "I think we'll continue to see remote patient monitoring being utilized in more and more use cases across the continuum."

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