Virtual Medicine Enables Continuous Care for Chronic Illness and Remote Access
In this case study
People diagnosed with chronic illnesses often need care that extends well beyond a visit to the doctor or hospital. A large Midwestern Healthcare System was seeing a high rate of readmission for patients with chronic health conditions. Patients were being sent home after hospital visits with no connection to their doctors for ongoing virtual care or other medical support.
They knew this was not only a detriment to their patients' health, but also that repeated hospital visits create unsustainable costs for both patients and the hospitals themselves. To extend care beyond the walls of the hospital, the Healthcare System came up with an unprecedented plan to use technology to bring care to patients remotely and continuously.
The Health System approached WWT for help in piloting this transformation.
Achieving their vision of delivering care in a new way would require a full-scale technology overhaul. To begin with, the Healthcare System would need a new state-of-the-art data center with the power to store and process the massive amounts of patient data necessary to support patient-facing care portals.
WWT helped the customer begin the transformation by collaborating to build a $60 million on-premise data center — unrivaled in the healthcare sector. In addition to providing strategy and executional support for the infrastructure, we helped the customer transition to virtualized environments that would make maintenance and future improvements easier.
To truly execute on their vision, we not only advised and supported initial data center infrastructure pilot design and requirements, but we continue to support evolving requirements as the project moves forward. We continued our work with the customer to create a true end-to-end patient experience underpinned by continuing innovation that revolutionizes how care is provided to patients.
The main features in this change include in-home monitoring, healthcare portals and new data models for customized care. Overlaying these features is an integration platform that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to create alerts for physicians based on data collected from sensors in hospitals, remote clinics and patients' homes.
As a result of these initial projects, the Healthcare System's care teams are capable of delivering continuous virtual care to even its most remote clients. Using the new analytics and remote patient monitoring (RPM), remote patients who once required expensive and dangerous emergency evacuations or hospitalizations can get the care they need before their health situations become dire.
Our virtual care pilot program has already reduced the need for certain types of interventions by more than 70 percent. Our client and their staff now have a clear view regarding when patients might need support before a trip to the ER. By reducing the number of in-hospital stays and improving the tools home caretakers need to keep loved ones healthy, this healthcare organization has introduced an entirely new quality of care to their patients.
Since 2019, WWT's partnership with this Healthcare System has evolved well beyond the infrastructure we've set in place. Our roadmap for digital transformation embraces the best practices in fostering patient experience and loyalty, and includes development of custom software, mobile applications and rationalizing the underlying software products and platforms. Together, we've innovated while streamlining the organization's technology landscape and — most importantly — improved the healthcare experience and level of care for patients, wherever they live.
This WWT client case study was first published in August 2019 and updated August 2023.