In support of Alameda Health System’s (AHS) ongoing commitment to improve quality, efficiency and patient access to health care services, the complex care and ambulatory care teams recently partnered to secure a donation of 115 telehealth kits from Anthem Blue Cross.
The portable kits include a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, glucometer, weight scale, cell phone holder for telehealth visits, tape measurer and health education tip sheets. They were distributed to AHS patients in adult primary care at Hayward, Eastmont and Newark Wellness Centers and AHS-Highland Hospital’s adult primary care department.
“These kits provide access to essential health care maintenance tools that are often not covered or difficult to obtain through insurance providers,” said MacRae. “This donation gives patients the ability to participate in monitoring their health and share individual measurements and data with their primary care physicians and specialists for consultation in an environment they feel comfortable.”
Lilly MacRae, RN and manager of outpatient care coordination for complex care and care transitions programs along with her colleagues Isha Jethi, supervisor for complex care, and Dr. Natalie Curtis in ambulatory care at Highland Hospital served as tireless champions for getting the kits into the hands and homes of AHS patients for a better patient experience.
The selection process to identify which patients would receive the kits was a collective and strategic effort by the complex care and ambulatory leaders who asked each provider to assess which patients faced barriers to care and would benefit most from a telehealth kit.
“From the beginning of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders were first put into place, we had to rethink how we would continue to deliver critical care services and launched telehealth to provide patient care by video and phone visits. Now, more than two years later, telehealth visits have proven to be an effective and efficient alternative to in-office appointments,” said MacRae.
According to MacRae, telehealth visits also benefit underserved patients by eliminating transportation barriers and increasing access during the workday. She said just last month more than 8,000 AHS patients chose the telehealth option to connect with primary and specialty care providers.
The team plans to solicit feedback from AHS patients who are currently using the telehealth kits to support continual improvements for the virtual patient experience. She shared that by understanding from patients what is working well and what could use additional enhancements they will be able to continue to expand telehealth capabilities.
“At AHS we are dedicated to improving the patient experience and the donated telehealth kits have helped us meet patients where they are and provide care where they need it,” said MacRae.
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