UVA Health expands remote patient monitoring network in rural Virginia

The health system is using federal grants to deploy 40 digital health kits at six new sites in rural parts of the state, enabling health care providers to improve RPM efforts for patients with care needs chronicles.

UVA Health is adding six new sites to its telehealth platform to improve access to care for rural residents with chronic health conditions.

The Charlottesville, Va.-based health system is using more than $700,000 in federal grants to deploy 40 reusable digital health kits, including internet-enabled devices and tablets, at sites in rural parts of the province. State where access to health services is problematic.

The kits will be used by Bath Hospital in Hot Springs, Bland County Medical Center in Bastian, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems in Tazewell, Tri-Area Community Health in Laurel Fork and the Monacan Indian Nation in Madison Heights to develop remote monitoring services patients. for patients with heart failure. The sixth, Central Virginia Health Services in Farmville, will use the kits to develop an RPM program for pregnant women at risk of preterm birth.

“These grants enable the delivery of new, updated telemedicine equipment to our partners and allow them to use remote monitoring tools to improve care coordination and clinical outcomes for the patients they serve,” Karen S Rheuban, MD, director of the UVA Center for Telehealth and a faculty member at the UVA School of Medicine, said in a press release.

Through the program, selected patients will take a kit home, monitor their health, and send that data back to their care teams on a regular schedule via the tablet, allowing providers to adjust care management plans as needed and Communicate with patients upon request.

“We can save patients time on travel, and patients can connect with their healthcare providers via text and video, as well as send photos and take virtual visits,” added Novella Thompson, UVA Health Administrator for Population Health. UVA Health’s Department of Population Health is supporting the new services.

These six sites will also be part of UVA Health’s Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) platform. They will be part of a hub-and-spoke telemedicine network, with UVA Health at the center, that will allow them to learn from experts and specialists across the state and share best practices on RPM programs and others. digital health topics.

[See also: Understanding the Value of a Hub-and-Spoke Telemedicine Program]

The expansion adds to a well-known telehealth network operated by the UVA Center for Telehealth, which also serves as the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center, one of 12 regional resource centers funded by the federal government and two national resource centers that collectively constitute the national consortium. telehealth resource centers.

“Patients will be monitored more regularly by trained professionals who can determine if anything is changing or if a negative health event has occurred,” said James L. Werth Jr., PhD, CEO of Tri-Area Community Health . in the press release. “It can prevent problems from getting worse or, in extreme cases, can help save a person’s life.”

Eric Wicklund is the innovation and technology editor for HealthLeaders.

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