For people diagnosed with chronic illnesses, the need for care often extends well beyond a visit to their doctor or hospital. A large Midwestern Healthcare System was seeing a high rate of readmission with patients with chronic health conditions. Patients would be sent home after a hospital visit with no connection to their doctors or other medical support.
They knew this was not only a detriment to their patients’ health, but also that repeated hospital visits created unsustainable costs for both the 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, and to do this, they came to WWT.
Achieving their vision for a completely new way to deliver care would require a full-scale technology implementation, beginning with a new state-of-the-art data center with the power to store and process massive amounts of patient data necessary to make decisions and support patient-facing care portals.
WWT helped the Healthcare System begin the process by collaborating to build a $60 million dollar in-house data center unparalleled in the healthcare sector. In addition to providing infrastructure guidance and support, we helped them transition to virtualized environments, making maintenance and improvements in the future that much easier.
To truly execute on their vision, we not only advised and supported the Health System on their initial data center infrastructure requirements, but we continue to support them in meeting evolving requirements as the project moves forward. To create a true end-to-end patient experience, we are working with the organization on continuing innovations that will revolutionize how the Health System improves service to their patients: in-home monitoring, healthcare “portals” and new data models for customized care. This includes 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 virtual care group is now capable of delivering continuous care to even its most remote clients. They’ve helped remote patients who once required expensive and dangerous emergency evacuations and hospitalizations to get the care they need – using analytics and monitoring provided by the data center pilot project – before their health situation became dire.
Their virtual care pilot program has already reduced the need for certain kinds of care for patients by over 70 percent, because it now knows when patients need support before they require a trip to the ER. By reducing the number of in-hospital stays, improving the tools that home caretakers need to keep loved ones healthy, their virtual care initiatives are bringing an entirely new quality of care to their patients.
As the partnership continues, the Healthcare System and WWT will build upon the infrastructure we’ve already set in place, and move toward building the apps and platforms that will transform the healthcare technology landscape and – most important of all – continue to improve the healthcare experience and care for the people they serve.