The retailer’s health division is partnering with Atrium on a new effort to deliver care at home, and they aim to illuminate ‘the dark side of the moon.’
Nashville - They dubbed it “Project Pink Floyd.”
Just to hammer home the point, Rasu Shrestha of Advocate Health was rocking a Pink Floyd T-shirt during a presentation at the ViVE Conference Tuesday. Hey, Nashville is Music City.
While having some fun, Shrestha and Deborah Di Sanzo, the president of Best Buy Health, touted their new partnership on improving the hospital-at-home experience. Best Buy Health is working with Atrium Health – which recently merged with Advocate Aurora Health to form Advocate Health.
“The home is really the dark side of the moon,” says Shrestha, Advocate Health’s executive vice president & chief innovation and commercialization officer, referencing the band’s classic album.
And they indicated they don’t intend for this to be a one-hit wonder. They say they want to set new standards for the hospital-at-home model.
“We’re not going to do it just for Atrium and Best Buy,” Di Sanzo said. “We want to smooth out the road, illuminate the dark side for the moon, and bring it to other health systems.”
As Shrestha said on the ViVE stage, “We’re making the future of hospital at home, and health at home.”
There’s a growing market for home-based care. They noted that an estimated $265 billion in Medicare services could be delivered in the home by 2025.
“The shift to the home-based care is happening in front of our very eyes,” Shrestha said.
Nationwide, 277 hospitals in 37 states have received federal approval to offer acute care services in the home. Some systems have been hesitant to move forward with such programs until they have more assurances about federal reimbursements, and some have said they’re not ready to dive in.
As Di Sanzo said, health systems need to carefully plan and manage programs to deliver acute care services at home. She said it’s not as simple as setting up tablets and screens in homes so patients can see clinicians.
“It just doesn’t work that way,” she said. “There’s absolutely a lot of bumps in that road.”
But she said that Best Buy Health and Atrium can build on their strengths to make a more efficient and effective hospital-at-home program.
Best Buy Health and Atrium Health first announced the partnership earlier this month. Best Buy Health owns Current Health, a technology company offering hospital-at-home, telehealth and remote patient monitoring to health systems.
Atrium Health already operates the largest hospital-at-home program in the country. Atrium’s program has delivered hospital-level care at home for 6,600 patients. The program received high patient satisfaction marks and good outcomes, with Shrestha saying, “the quality of care was better.”
Still, the leaders said there’s more work to be done to improve the hospital-at-home model. So far, since they started the new program in February, more than 140 patients have been enrolled, Di Sanzo said.
Even though Atrium has already had success in operating a hospital-at-home program, Di Sanzo said, “Our big goal is to help enable care at home for everyone.”
As she noted, Best Buy Health has vast experience with electronic devices and managing supply chains. “You need to curate remote patient monitoring devices,” she said, and that’s familiar territory for the electronic retailer.
With the program, Best Buy’s famed “Geek Squad” will be deployed to help people utilize the devices that track their vital signs. As the company has said, the Geek Squad deployed to help patients won’t use the same people installing home entertainment systems. She has said they’ll be trained in delivering health services.
This approach frees clinicians from having to teach patients to use that equipment.
“Nurses and physicians don’t have time to be CTOs, but that’s what Geek Squad can do,” Di Sanzo said. “That’s what Geek Squad is doing.”
At the same time, Shrestha stressed that Atrium and Best Buy Health aren’t simply throwing a bunch of technology into the hospital-at-home program. He says the goal is to enable a “person-centered approach to care.”
“We’re bringing together the best of technology with the best of empathy,” Shrestha said.
Diana Gelston, Best Buy Health’s chief commercial officer, told Chief Healthcare Executive® that it makes sense for the company to focus on home-cased care, since so much of healthcare is shifting outside the hospital and into the home.
The partnership will harness the power of Atrium and Best Buy Health, but all of the Best Buy portfolio, Gelston said. The Geek Squad will ensure patients are comfortable with using the technology.
With Atrium Health’s clinical expertise with hospital at home, Gelston said, “They just seemed like the absolute right partner for us.”
She also cited Atrium’s commitment to health equity, as patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds are being offered the chance to receive hospital care in their home.
“The beautiful thing about working with Atrium is that they serve every patient,” she says. “I mean, every patient.”