Emergency Department Decreased Using Telemedicine

When Owings Mills resident Wayne Webb responded to a follow-up call from a staff member at Northwest Hospital asking him to open his front door, he was shock to see paramedics waiting for him. Although he was not feeling well after a visit to the hospital’s Emergency Department a few days prior, he had no idea why the paramedics were at his home.

Enhancing care coordination

The paramedics explained they were called to check on his medical status and if emergency care was need. They then entered his home, set up a computer screen and emergency medicine physician, Jonathan Thierman, M.D., appear and inquire about his symptoms. “They didn’t know there was an issue, just that they wasn’t feeling well,” said Webb. “[The doctor] was telling me what he thought was going on because of the way they was sitting. He was more concern about me than going on to the next patient,” he add.

A short time later, Dr. Thierman determine Webb need emergency care and he was take to the hospital where he was immediately admitted and remained for four days. Webb is one of many patients who are experiencing the benefits of LifeBridge Health’s virtual hospital, a new model of care that is enhancing care coordination, efficiency; also improving patient satisfaction throughout the system.

The virtual hospital’s clinical command center is staff with a multi-disciplinary team; so who monitor the efficient flow of patients into and out of the hospital. By watching digital screens with real-time data; hence staff can track the number of incoming patients, patient discharges and bed availability. A representative from Pulse Medical Transportation is also on hand to coordinate; so the transfer of patients by ambulance to and between LifeBridge Health facilities.

The emergency department

Additionally, the virtual hospital ensures patients receive the support; so they need through the international Clinical Operations Call Centers. The centers, locate in Jerusalem, Israel and Manilla, Philippines, are staff with nurses and advance practice providers who are license in Maryland. The center in Jerusalem provides telephone support to patients who have questions; so follow-up calls to recently discharge patients and manages prescriptions refill requests.

This increase follow a successful piloting of the service in Northwest Hospital’s Emergency Department last year; which the overall door-to-provider time dramatically decrease; so from an average of one hour and 26 minutes to less than 26 minutes during the pilot from July to September. In another case, the average time for a hospitalist to admit patients from the Emergency Department; hence to a unit decrease by more than 90 minutes in November 2018 with the use of telemedicine.

“They are doing something very unique at LifeBridge Health by combining; so the telemedicine and the clinical care alongside all the operations in one center in this virtual hospital. We’ve had a lot of success so far on this journey and are piloting more projects in the future,” said Dr. Thierman. Of his experience, Webb said he was in awe as he watch; so the virtual hospital’s telemedicine service in practice at his home. The entire experience was “outstanding” and one for which he is grateful.