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Patients

The care continuum increasingly relies on the skilled nursing facility to extend patient care beyond the acute care facility before the patient is sent home.  The hospitals are under pressure to treat only the most acute conditions and then move the patient to facilities with lower costs of care.  Accordingly, skilled nursing facilities are accepting patients who are frailer and more complicated.  “Between 2005 and 2009, the percentage of Medicare SNF patients with eight or more co-mobidities increased from 74.8 to 86.9 percent..”  And, the “proportion of patients in SNFs categorized as having major or extreme severity of illness increased from about 45 percent in 2005 to 53 percent in 2009.”

Shubh Kaur, MD

When endocrinologist Shubh Kaur, MD, was first approached to consider telehealth visits with patients in the Douglas and Safford areas, she was immediately intrigued. 

It seemed an appropriate solution for patients whose zip codes made it difficult to get specialty care without a lengthy drive. 

But she was also new to the technology. “I had an open mind about what the interaction would be like, but I was very interested in the question of patient experience, and whether it would be effective in building relationships.” 

Stephanie Forbes, PharmD (left), Kate Johnson, RN, and Kevin Boesen, Pharm D.

In 2006, 10 years after he received his PharmD from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Kevin Boesen, then a faculty member with the college, decided to follow through on what seemed like a great idea.

Today he is CEO of SinfoniaRx, a medication therapy management company that has outpaced its competitors and has tracked $778 million in healthcare cost savings, while improving medication safety and effectiveness for millions of patients across the country.

The healthcare market is changing. Patients’ expectations of convenience and quality are fueling their healthcare purchase decisions. Meanwhile, retail clinics, urgent cares, and direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies are entering the market in droves, giving patients more options outside the primary care relationship. As a consequence, health systems are finding patient engagement increasingly important.

Image depicting Health devices are increasingly “connected”

From connected refrigerators that display the latest family photos to connected buttons that instantly place an order for laundry detergent when you press them, the Internet of Things is vast and growing rapidly. Health care is not immune to this new connected fever. Health care leaders and innovators are quickly developing connected health things that offer powerful new ways to care for people.

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