When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people were concerned about their access to health care. Michigan Medicine was naturally focused on managing the disease. But there was also an incredible amount of effort around maintaining sufficient access to care for the academic medical center’s existing and future patients using telemedicine, a platform that had existed for many years. To date, Michigan Medicine has conducted more than 350,000 video and phone visits since the pandemic started.
For patients leaving the hospital who still need care, Michigan Medicine provides them with a home monitoring kit that contains a scale, blood pressure cuff, tablet, pulse oximetry machine, thermometer and blood glucose machine. The readouts are automatically sent to a team that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We give them a kit…so that we can monitor them closely and track their health,” says Karen Neeb, a nurse practitioner at Michigan Medicine. “Especially now, with people staying home to remain safe, we’re able to help them feel connected to their health care teams in ways that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”