As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise across the United States, many hospitals are struggling to accommodate these patients in addition to critical non-coronavirus patients.
New Measure to Accommodate Increasing Inpatient Populations
In order to increase the capacity of these facilities and ensure that patients are able to receive the care they need, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its Acute Hospital Care at Home program. The program allows for safe hospital-level care to be delivered outside of traditional settings – in patient homes. CMS has included 60 acute conditions including congestive heart failure (CHF), pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the agency expects adherence to proper monitoring and treatment protocols.
CMS anticipates that patients will want to join this optional program, much like the widespread embrace of telehealth as a great alternative to in person visits for many medical appointments during the pandemic. The appeal of the program stems from a desire to be separated from other patients who may have the coronavirus in the hospital, and a preference to be at home with family.
Safely Monitoring Patients in Need of Acute Care
Patients in need of acute care require close monitoring which can be complex when they are not physically at the hospital. In order to meet the CMS requirements for the program including adherence to monitoring and treatment protocols, care teams can leverage technology. Integrated technology platforms can be used to monitor physiologic data and patient-reported outcomes, and increase staff capacity with automated clinical pathways and patient prompts. When a patient reports anything that deviates from expected data, an automated program can alert the care team that attention is needed. A pathway that is customized to a particular condition is also an excellent way to prompt the patient to report serious side effects and support early intervention.
Leaning into virtual care and remote patient monitoring
The Acute Hospital Care at Home program, in addition to its Hospitals Without Walls program and permanent expansion of telehealth benefits, is a clear indicator that CMS is open to innovative solutions to address the growing capacity and staffing issues many hospitals are facing.
Technology will be an important part of safe and effective at-home care. It will be especially important for patients in the CMS acute care program that under normal circumstances would be cared for in the hospital setting.
Twistle is an ideal solution since it offers a library of multi-disciplinary clinical communication pathways that have been developed according to best practices and optimized through real world data analysis. Twistle is an integrated platform that enhances virtual healthcare initiatives by keeping patients on track as they navigate care journeys.
Interested in seeing Twistle’s automated clinical pathways in action? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.