Geisinger boosts orthopedic outcomes with EHR-virtual care
The Pennsylvania-based health system is the first to merge data collected from a remote care management platform into its Epic electronic health record system.
The EHR integration with the Force Therapeutics platform—which is seamless and requires no additional effort or documentation by clinicians—has resulted in better care at more affordable costs by improving connectivity and information sharing between patients undergoing hip and knee surgeries and their providers, according to Geisinger.
“Force helps us keep in touch with patients in between the typical visits we would usually have in orthopedics,” said Michael Suk, MD, Geisinger’s chief physician officer and chair of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Knowing what patients are doing between two- and six-week visits is incredibly important. We can monitor progress, continue to send encouragement and hopefully have a positive effect on their quality and outcomes.”
In fact, the Geisinger-Force collaboration over three years has resulted in significantly improved outcomes, including a 30 percent reduction in hospital length of stay, 56 percent reduction in skilled nursing facility utilization, as well as an 18 percent reduction in readmissions.
Geisinger credits remote monitoring with improving patient outcomes by fostering compliance to prescribed treatment plans and providing clinical teams with real-time data and alerts integrated into the EHR.
Through the web platform and mobile app, patients have 24-by-7 access to prescribed care plans that include exercise and educational videos, prompts and forms to collect information on their progress, and a portal to communicate with their clinical teams.
“Patients are no longer passive recipients of care; they’re an active participant. You see a decrease in cost and increase in quality because they’re more involved,” said James Murphy, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained adult reconstruction specialist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.
In all, the Force platform is being leveraged at seven Geisinger hospitals across Pennsylvania—with plans to expand it to two more this month. So far, a total of 1,750 patients—more than 70 percent of eligible Geisinger patients—have successfully completed the Force virtual care program.