Michigan Medicine pilots 2 remote monitoring, hospital-at-home programs

Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan Medicine recently launched two programs that use digital health tools to shorten hospital stays and redirect patient care to home settings, according to a July 24 news release. 

Michigan Medicine in July rolled out its Hospital Care at Home pilot program, which identified patients who can safely return home from Michigan Medicine's emergency department rather than being admitted to the hospital. Eligible patients must have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network insurance. The program is targeted toward patients with heart failure, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, cellulitis and COPD. 

If a patient qualifies for HCAH, they will receive transportation from Huron Valley Ambulance service of Emergent Health Partners from Michigan Medicine's ED to their home. Once at home, the patient may receive various home-based care services, including blood draws, X-rays and medication infusions, through visits from physicians, nurses, home health aides and physical therapists. The patient also receives a digital tablet and electronic devices kit that monitors their vital signs and transmits data to nurses. Each patient also has a physician and paramedics on call for urgent issues. 

For its patient monitoring at home program, patients at Michigan Medicine can go home earlier than they would have before. To reduce their risk of readmission, patients are loaned a wireless digital tablet and tech devices that can monitor their vital signs, connect with nurses and access on-call assistance. Devices available include a blood pressure cuff, scale, blood sugar monitor, thermometer and blood-oxygen sensor. 

Patients are trained how to use the digital devices and remote monitoring system before they leave the hospital. If any of the devices transmit a reading outside of the expected range, an automatic alert is sent to Health Recovery Solutions's command center's nurses, who will connect with the patient and their Michigan Medicine post-acute care provider. HRS is the remote monitoring company providing equipment for and monitoring services for the program. 

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