Metro Health - University of Michigan Health Improves Community Health and Supports Staff with Telehealth and RPM
Metro Health is an osteopathic teaching hospital serving over 250,000 patients per year throughout western Michigan. Since its founding in 1942, Metro Health has placed patient experience and community needs at the forefront of healthcare delivery.
For nearly two years, Metro Health explored telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems, recognizing in-home care as the future of healthcare delivery. With heart disease diagnoses in Michigan projected to reach nearly 3 million by 2030, Metro Health initially looked to telehealth and RPM as a means to prevent hospitalizations among congestive heart failure patients. In November 2020, Michigan cases of COVID-19 soared, averaging more than 7,000 new cases per day. With the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Metro Health was confronted with the following challenges:
Diminishing bed capacity as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations significantly increased
Increasing nurse-to-patient ratios placing an additional burden on healthcare providers
Patient isolation impacting emotional, mental, and physical health of hospitalized patients
In November 2020, Metro Health partnered with Health Recovery Solutions to launch a telehealth and remote patient monitoring program focused on COVID-19 mitigation. The primary goal of Metro Health’s telehealth program was to enable at-home recovery of COVID-19 patients to increase bed capacity, manage staffing shortages, and improve the patient care experience.
3 Ways HRS Helped Metro Health Address COVID-19:
- Enabled 24/7 monitoring of patient vitals and symptoms, allowing patients to self-monitor with educational videos and COVID-19 Zone Tools, and providing insight to Metro Health clinicians to identify exacerbations and prevent hospitalizations
- Improved patient engagement and adherence, through comprehensive patient training and daily reminders, provided through the telehealth tablet
- Enhanced patient-provider communication through HIPAA-compliant virtual visits. Telehealth patients participated in virtual visits with providers throughout enrollment to ensure a complete recovery. In addition, patients were encouraged to contact Metro Health’s telehealth team through voice calling or text messaging via the tablet with questions or concerns.
We came to the conclusion that patients don’t need to be in the hospital with technology like HRS. It allows us to care for them where they want to be, at home with their loved ones.
— Dr. Lance Owens
Chief Medical InformationOfficer, Metro Health
Average Number of Hospital Days Avoided Per Patient
Patient Satisfaction Rate
Daily Patient Adherence Rate
Over five months, Metro Health avoided an average of 9.5 days in the hospital for over 80 patients. In addition, the Metro Health telehealth program has recorded a 94% patient satisfaction rate since launching in November.
While enrolled in the telehealth program, 93% of patients stated they felt more supported by their healthcare team and involved in their care with over 90% of patients recording their vital signs and symptoms each day of enrollment.
In the coming months, with marked success in reducing hospitalizations, Metro Health aims to expand telehealth and RPM services to other vulnerable patient populations, including: congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and high-risk pregnancies, among others.