For decades, patients have traveled to hospitals for acute care. This delivery model made sense, given the equipment and personnel needed to manage serious illnesses. However, as medicine and technology have evolved, delivery models have remained static for decades. And as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated, patients too often pay the price in terms of care delays and degraded quality of life.
At Vituity, we believe the time has come to reimagine acute care delivery. As an industry, we now have the tools to make acute care convenient, accessible, and aligned with patient preferences. We call this concept Health in Place, and it’s at the center of our mission, innovation, and commitment to healthcare’s future.
What exactly is Health in Place? At Vituity, we define it as a delivery ecosystem designed to meet patients when, where, and how they need care. This may be within the hospital setting, via virtual or hybrid models, at home, or any place a patient requires help.
Studies show that patient-centered approaches like Health in Place can improve both care quality and quality of life for patients. They also create a more satisfying experience for today’s consumers and their families, who expect options and convenience when receiving care. After all, we live in a world where the expectation is to access virtually all needs through the click of a button. Why should healthcare be different?
Health in Place solves some of the thorniest problems facing hospitals and health systems, such as:
Of course, this patient-centric shift won’t come quickly or easily. Our system needs to change fundamentally to meet the vision of truly patient-centric care.
One of our first tasks must be to rethink care teams. Presently, care is inefficiently delivered through physician-centric, face-to-face, in-hospital/medical office models. However, it’s time to shift physicians to a team leader/head consultant role to mitigate rising costs and staffing shortages. The expansion of a highly coordinated team (nurses, advanced providers, social workers, navigators, home health caregivers, etc.) where members operate at their highest license significantly changes the calculus of healthcare.
We also need to help patients access and navigate their needed care. Patient navigation, which provides individualized guidance and support, is the gold standard. But when it comes to touch points, we must consider the role technology plays in managing patients. Appropriately used, it leverages the care team model and exponentially increases patient interaction, ensuring the right level of care at the right location is achieved.
So how can Health in Place (HIP) improve healthcare access and experience? Successful HIP programs blend three key characteristics:
Health in Place represents both the apex of Vituity’s clinical integration evolution and a jumping-off point for the future. It’s about bringing healthcare to the patient, wherever they may be. We achieve this through a combination of technology and evolved care teams, such as our Virtual Health Navigation Team.
Our vision is to create a care delivery environment where everyone practices at their highest level and technology-enabled providers (not provider-enabled technology) deliver true patient-centric care—all while addressing provider wellness and burnout.