New Hanover Regional Medical Center has established a telephone monitoring system to allow clinical staff to regularly evaluate suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients recovering at home.
The tool will be used to serve existing patients at NHRMC and NHRMC Physician Group practices. NHRMC care teams will also use the tool to monitor patients without a primary care provider who have been discharged from the Emergency Department or the hospital. In addition, NHRMC is encouraging practices across the region to adopt the tool to better serve patients.
Using the COVID Care at Home Tool, care teams will regularly call patients to assess their health status by asking a series of questions, such as about their temperature, breathing and level of activity, and then review any underlying health conditions.
Based on their answers to these questions, the assessment tool provides each patient with a risk score (placing the patient in a low, moderate, or high risk category) and indicates next steps. If patients require additional care, they will be connected with a provider for a video visit, or they could be instructed to seek emergency care.
“We hope the use of this tool across the region will help healthcare providers provide consistent monitoring and support to patients in need of early intervention,” said Dr. Leelee Thames, NHRMC’s Chief Value Officer. “Although many patients recovering from COVID-19 may have mild to moderate symptoms and will not require hospitalization, we want to be sure that patients recovering at home are also being well-cared for.”
Community providers can also notify NHRMC about a patient being sent for emergency care and report data on the volume of high-risk patients that may ultimately require hospitalization to help NHRMC prepare. Providers interested in requesting assistance to deploy this care model should contact COVIDcare@nhrmc.org.
For more information about NHRMC and COVID-19, visit www.nhrmc.org/coronavirus.