St. Luke's expands RPM program to support patient's medical needs virtually

Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 23:22:26-05

IDAHO — St. Luke's Health System is making sure patients, including Covid-19 patients, receive the care they need after leaving the hospital.

St. Luke's Remote Patient Management program (RPM) has been in place for about three years.

It's a resource available for patients who need medical support after being discharged from the hospital, allowing them to virtually meet with medical staff.

"The patient consents to the program. They are delivered a kit that has an iPad, device that measures their blood pressure, their oxygen, their blood, and pulse, and they are trained on it right there at the hospital," Krista Stadler, St luke's sr. Director, Telehealth and Virtual Care Services said.

St. Lukes is expanding the program. Currently, which already has more than 180 patients enrolled.

"167 of those patients are approximately 91 percent are Covid related. As of tomorrow, we will open up to non-covid patients, and we anticipate that enrollment to be significant," Sadler said.

Some St. Luke's medical facilities in the Treasure and Magic Valleys would be able to transition some patients to this type of virtual care, if possible. It includes patients diagnosed with pneumonia, sepsis, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses.

"Who are really struggling with frequent hospitalizations and trying to stay out of the hospital and closer to home. Because we believe this would really give them that support in their homes and avoid those re-admissions," Stadler said.

Health officials hope the program can help alleviate the strain on hospitals.

"We feel comfortable that we can start discharging patients a day or maybe two days early when they meet clinical parameters to discharge safely home. That then allows us to open up more beds and have patients come through and get the care they need when our hospitals are under capacity constraint."

Depending on a patient's conditions, the RPM program can provide support for about two months. Covid-19 patients for 14 days.