St. Luke's virtual care center serves over 36,000 patients in first year

Posted at 3:38 PM, Oct 24, 2019

BOISE — A year later and the St. Luke’s Virtual Care Center is providing medical access to those who might typically not make it to the doctor.

"We put 34,000 patients in beds through our patient placement program and served over 6,000 patients in tele-ICU program," said senior director of telehealth services for St. Luke's Krista Stadler, "we’ve got about 125 patients over the last 12 months that we’ve served in our remote patient monitoring program for chronic illness."

Those 125 patients are from 4 clinics across the state, and now St. Luke’s has been approved to expand to all St. Luke’s clinics across the state for remote patient monitoring.

"Remote patient monitoring seeks to support chronically ill patients in their homes, folks that have diabetes, coronary artery diseases, congestive heart failure often times have to spend a lot of time in the doctor's office and sometimes the hospital so we deploy device into the home where they can be remotely monitored and managed through the care of a nurse," said Stadler.

A specific area to highlight for this telehealth service is McCall.

“We see that as an opportunity to really create a telehealth mecca for that community, we offer ambulatory services there today where folks can go in and see their provider, usually a specialist without having to commute down to the Treasure Valley," said Stadler.

St. Luke’s expects to expand services like neurology and behavioral health as well to McCall. Right now, St. Luke’s says the entire virtual care center is operating at 20%, and with time and expansion efforts, they’ll get to 100%.

“We’re looking to provide behavioral health support to rural communities as well as local communities through by connecting social workers and psychiatric to our emergency departments to support that population," said Stadler.