It seems counterintuitive at first, a hospital with no beds. However, this is the in which direction healthcare is now heading. In the past, hospital systems were reimbursed based on the volume of patients treated. Now with new governmental regulations in place, more emphasis is being placed on value-based care, where a hospital or provider is reimbursed based on the condition treated rather than the number of tests run or days admitted to the hospital. In addition, the new regulations may create a penalty for providers or hospitals that have high readmission rates once the patients are discharged from the hospital. One way to improve hospital readmission statistics is to create hospitals with no beds.
This new government mandate which rewards value-based care has impelled Mercy hospital outside of St. Louis, to invest in a $54 million dollar virtual hospital, aimed at connecting patients to providers remotely to prevent unnecessary ER visits and reduce hospital readmissions. Patients are connected to the provider via secure two-way video chat with peripheral devices also utilized to gather vital signs, such as blood pressure and pulse oximetry. Part of the impetus for virtual care facilities is to reduce the over 3 million adult 30-day all-cause readmissions in the United States. In 2011, 30-day all-cause readmissions were associated with $41.3 billion in hospital costs.
Medical algorithms can play an instrumental role for virtual hospitals delivering care remotely. The introduction of evidence-based, peer-reviewed standardization in the form of medical algorithms, ensures virtual hospitals can achieve a higher level of accuracy and quality in the delivery of care. Some examples of medical analytics from our knowledge base that can be used for monitoring and administration of care virtually include:
- Risk Factors for Hospital Readmission Following a Stroke
- Essen Stroke Risk Score (ESRS) for Recurrent Stroke
- Factors Affecting Compliance with Antihypertensive Therapy
- Recommendations for Taking Blood Pressure Readings at Home
In many chronic disease states, such as asthma, telemedicine can be as effective as in-person care. Utilizing the technologies available to patients and providers can reduce costs and improve care. Incorporating medical algorithms available online and via iOS and Android app can assist virtual providers with clinical decision support for evidence-based care. With the enormous financial pressure currently bearing down on the U.S. healthcare system, now is the time to embrace medical algorithms and incorporate them into the delivery of care, especially when administered remotely.
Read other blogs from The Medical Algorithms Company on telemedicine:
- Can Medical Algorithms Help to Reduce Telemedicine Liability?
- The Future of Healthcare: Telemedicine, Digital Health, and Medical Calculator