For coronavirus patients who don’t require hospitalization, Rochester Regional Health has turned to equipment created by an Israeli-based firm not only to maintain frequent monitoring but also to provide reassurance during quarantine.
The Datos Remote Care platform allows doctors and nurses to efficiently and safely contact patients twice a day by text for a condition update—and by video visit if a worsening condition merits more in-depth discussion.
The system debuted at a hospital in Tel Aviv. Rochester Regional Health is the first U.S. provider to put it to use.
The Datos COVID-19 monitoring platform went online on March 20 for members of the RRH primary care network and is connected to a large percentage of the 500 people currently in self-monitoring. It’s also now being rolled out to monitor healthy care workers who may be symptomatic or at low-risk exposure.
“As the numbers started growing, we realized we needed a much better mousetrap,” said Dr. Bridgette Wiefling, senior vice president for the RRH Primary Care and Ambulatory Specialty Institute and chief innovation officer.
That better means of monitoring and caring was especially true when primary care doctors suspected a patient may have been exposed to the coronavirus and ordered the person to self quarantine for two weeks.
“That’s highly anxiety-producing,” Wiefling said in a video call. “We’re asking them to be alone for 14 days with no way of interfacing with society for those 14 days. We felt that was inhumane.”
So RRH sought a solution and Datos delivered, with the assistance of Strategic Interests, LLC, a Rochester-based firm specializing in technological and performance implementation for the health care system.
Patients are sent a text twice a day. They are asked several questions about symptoms, including temperature. There also is a risk stratification protocol on a red-yellow-green scale.
“Whenever it’s red, we’re able to reach out with a video visit to determine what triggered that,” Wiefling said.
Not every advancement to red requires hospitalization, she said, but the medical team can determine if examination at an urgent care location may be necessary. The virus has been known to progress very quickly, from barely symptomatic to acute respiratory distress syndrome.
“By using this tool, we try to catch these individuals faster so we can do a hand-off to a higher level of care,” Wiefling said.
She credited Dr. Natalia Golub, I.T. specialist Mike Caccamise and the team of pathologists with RRH, as well as Strategic Interests President Al Kinel, for fast-tracking implementation of the Datos platform.
“It is remarkable that, in just a few short days, they were able to implement an innovative and efficient solution to preserve the dedicated medical staff and ensure the well-being of non-hospitalized patients,” Kinel said in a news release.