Centura Health looks to app to cut ER admissions

Photo credit: DispatchHealth

Colorado-based Centura Health is banking on a new app to help reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmission rates.

The South Denver organization is using the app for house call and care coordination, and already is seeing positive results thanks to the initiative.

Patients download the DispatchHealth app and use the software to communicate with providers in medical situations that may require an ER visit, according to Healthcare IT News.

"Nine times out of 10 when calls go to EMS, they end up being services that could have been provided in the home by DispatchHealth,” Kristen Daley, group director of value-based programs at Centura Health’s South Denver group, told Healthcare IT News.

Hospitals can benefit financially from mobile apps and telehealth tools in emergency situations, primarily when such services are used as a substitute for backup calls for physician assistants or nurse practitioners to the emergency department, according to a study published in Telemedicine and e-Health. In addition, technology can also be a great help when patients do need to visit the ER; in one case, a wearable activity tracker and a smartphone app played an integral role in medical decision making for a 42-year-old male suffering from a self-limited grand mal seizure.

Centura Health notes that the app is currently reducing costs for patient stays in skilled nursing facilities, enhancing patient care and increasing patient satisfaction with services, according to Daley.

“In the past, for example, we have had patients staying in skilled nursing facilities for a longer length of stay than is necessary,” Daley told Healthcare IT News. “So now we feel transitioning patients to another care setting that is the right, safe place for them is better and at a lower cost.”

For more information:
- read the Healthcare IT News  article