Technology-enabled Inpatient Care

In 2013, there were over 35 million hospitalizations, resulting in an annual expenditure of $386 billion (HCUP, 2013). Using an established method for identifying strategies to lower the cost of care, we undertook an in-depth examination of the digital health landscape, using expert interviews, literature review and site visits to innovative healthcare delivery systems as our key sources of information

Our research revealed three primary drivers of cost in the inpatient setting that could be addressed by digital solutions: 1) inappropriate ED visits and hospital admissions 2) inefficient use of the inpatient labor pool, specifically nursing staff and 3) preventable hospital readmissions. We reasoned that solutions to mitigate these cost drivers would 1) divert sub - acute patients from inappropriate utilization of acute care 2) optimize use of inpatient labor resources and 3) facilitate transitions to post - acute care and prevent avoidable hospital readmissions. As additional criteria for our search, we sought technology - enabled solutions with evidence of cost savings in real - world implementations by healthcare delivery systems that could be implemented de novo on a 1 - 2 year timeline.

  1. First responders use apps with telehealth consultation connections to nurse practitioners and social workers to reduce preventable ED visits and hospitalization.

  2. Predictive analytics software is used to match inpatient nurse staffing for each shift and unit with predictive clinical need.

  3. To reduce readmissions, pharmacist-led care transition teams utilizing a patient management software platform work with patients to reconcile medications, clarify non-RX discharge instructions, and pro-actively monitor patients during the early weeks after hospital discharge when readmission risk is highest.

Projects and Outcomes

Net Percent reduction in total annual American health care spending: 0.42%

(Net annual savings $15 billion / Total annual American health care spending in 2018 $3.6 trillion)

Publications and News