The health system is reporting positive results from a chronic care management program launched in 2021, and now wants the Geek Squad to manage more patients at home.
Geisinger is expanding its partnership with Best Buy Health to bulk up a remote patient monitoring platform that’s showing positive clinical outcomes.
The Pennsylvania-based health system launched ConnectedCare365 in 2021 and joined forces with the retail giant's Current Health subsidiary to give patients better access to chronic care management tools at home. According to health system officials, the program has enrolled more than 1,100 patients and is seeing an almost 20% improvement in care plan adherence, while speeding up the time patients begin the program after leaving the hospital and cutting technical issues by almost 20%.
The collaboration is being closely watched by the healthcare industry as more health systems move care pathways into the home and RPM programs show results, particularly in managing care for patients living with diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and other issues.
The partnership enables Geisinger to refer patients identified in the hospital for RPM to Current Health, which visits the patient's home, sets up each patient with the right equipment for the program and ensures the devices are transmitting data to the care team at the hospital. Through the 'Geek Squad' format made popular by Best Buy's retail electronic and computer departments, Current Health keeps in touch with patients and helps with any technical issues.
"We know the myriad benefits of care at home for patients, families, and the health system, and the Current Health platform allows us to care for patients with chronic diseases in the home," Karen Murphy, Geisinger's executive vice president and chief innovation officer and founder of the health system's Steele Institute for Health Innovation, said in an e-mail to HealthLeaders. "In addition, working with the Geek Squad is a fundamentally different approach to a remote patient monitoring program. Instead of a patient receiving devices in the mail, the Geek Squad provides personal instruction on how to operate the device and how to communicate with the care team."
"Best Buy Health and their large supply chain and logistics capabilities offered a very promising solution for us," she added. "We’ve seen great results so far and are excited to expand the program to more use cases."
This isn't Best Buy's only partnership. Earlier this year the retailer joined forces with Atrium Health to support the North Carolina health system's Hospital at Home program. At the HIMSS conference in Chicago shortly thereafter, Chris McGhee, Current Health's co-founder and CEO, said the deal is indicative of a healthcare industry looking to be more consumer-friendly and apply some retail strategies to its platforms.
"We're fundamentally changing healthcare," he said, noting the Best Buy can pick and choose the technology needed to make the best and most reliable connections between a patient in the homes and his or her care team at a hospital. "Hospitals value that curation."
That's especially true as health systems like Geisinger expand their RPM programs to manage more patients with more health concerns. The ability to scale programs up and out and have Current Health manage the technology deployment and monitoring takes pressure off of health system executives and clinicians, giving them more time to focus on the clinical side of the program.
"Technology-enabled care-at-home programs allow us to extend their reach beyond the confines of traditional settings and bring high-quality care directly to the comfort of patients' homes," Murphy said. "These models have been shown to improve outcomes—especially readmissions—and provide more comfortable experiences and lower costs."
"Our work with Best Buy Health allows us to better cross the threshold into patients' homes and, through the Geek Squad, enable them to use RPM technology," she added. "The data shows the impact on the patient – they are getting the technology faster, adhering to their care plan better and having fewer technical issues. And they’re giving their experience high marks afterwards."
“Technology-enabled care-at-home programs allow us to extend their reach beyond the confines of traditional settings and bring high-quality care directly to the comfort of patients' homes. These models have been shown to improve outcomes—especially readmissions—and provide more comfortable experiences and lower costs.”
— Karen Murphy, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, Geisinger.
Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, Telehealth, Supply Chain and Pharma for HealthLeaders.
Geisinger launched its ConnectedCare365 program in 2021 and contracted with Best Buy's Current Health to get patients set up with the right equipment and handle connectivity.
Since then, the health system has seen a roughly 20% improvement in adherence to care plans, halved the time needed to get a patient set up at home and reduced technical issues by about 20%.
The collaboration between a health system and a retail giant could pave the way for more partnerships that enable hospitals to scale RPM programs more quickly and efficiently to larger populations.