ANDOVER, Mass. and ST. LOUIS, Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy, one of the earliest providers of telehealth for critical care in the U.S., and Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced that they will collaborate to expand Mercy's telehealth services to include medical and surgical hospital units. Telehealth enables clinicians to remotely monitor and manage patients in any location and is one of the fastest growing care delivery models. Mercy is currently managing 430 intensive care unit beds with the Philips eICU program and multiple Emergency Departments with the Philips Telestroke Program, and will soon extend these services to medical and surgical hospital units.
As patient acuity in hospitals continues to increase, care of patients on medical and surgical units represents an area of substantial unmet need and consumption of health care resources. By 2017, Mercy is planning to provide the Philips eAcute program to 1,500 acute care beds not only within the Mercy system, but across the U.S.
The sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., Mercy operates 32 hospitals and 300 outpatient facilities across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, as well as outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Mercy's eICU and telestroke programs have been supported by Philips technology since 2006. The positive impact of telehealth on length of stay, readmissions and patient safety is a game changer and why Mercy is expanding into acute care.
"We have never been more convinced of the power of telehealth to improve patient access and outcomes and reduce costs," said Lynn Britton, Mercy's president and CEO, who will be participating in the "Telemedicine's Expansive Potential" panel at this week's U.S. News & World Report's Hospital of Tomorrow conference in Washington, DC. "Adding acute care telehealth services is a natural extension of our successful eICU and telestroke programs and will allow us to support our mission to provide quality care to patients in need, regardless of location."Mercy expects to launch the Philips-enabled acute care program by April 2014. In addition to bi-directional audio and video access in patient rooms, the program will include several key features that address:
- Readmissions reduction – Recorded discharge instructions, uploaded into a patient engagement portal to reinforce self-care and adherence to therapies at home.
- Increased patient safety – Automated monitoring of vital signs with remote triggers around early warning signs, to avoid complications, including cardio-pulmonary arrest.
- Increased patient satisfaction – Video visitation, enabling patients to easily interact with family members and friends.
- Clinical best practices – Including early detection of sepsis, pressure ulcer management and fall prevention.