After several hospitalizations a patient with COPD and CHF was connected to a home-based health management tool called vEngagement. Mercy “vEngagement” is targeted to patients with multiple chronic conditions who are frequently in and out of the emergency room and hospital.
Mercy’s “vEngagement” is a free program offered through Mercy Virtual which provides care to patients with chronic medical conditions in their home through a secure internet connection, a tablet computer, and wireless monitoring equipment.
Using the program, the patient connects to several devices each day to monitor their weight, pulse rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure. These devices link to the tablet to provide results to the care team. Readings alert Mercy Virtual team members in St. Louis to sudden changes. The team at this point might tweak the patient’s medications or make simple suggestions like drinking more water.
Primary care providers working in conjunction with the physician-led virtual care team is alerted to any changes in their patient’s status through Mercy’s EHR system. Appointments can be made as needed with a Mercy Virtual caregiver.
Since 2015, the program reports results from nearly 1,000 participating patients that show:
- 50 percent reduction in hospital readmissions
- 50 percent reduction in emergency department visits and hospitalizations
- 98 percent of patients in the program are satisfied
The Mercy Virtual “vEngagement” program was first launched as a pilot program in Missouri in 2015. The program is now available in Mercy’s hospitals and clinics in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Last December, Mercy also launched another “vEngagement” pilot program in Joplin Missouri and Oklahoma City to monitor vital signs of patients with cancer.