Expanding the boundaries for quality care
Please note: If you are a patient seeking telehealth-related healthcare services, please visit our web pages focused on accessing this care here. The following information is primarily intended to provide a business overview of this work.
The Care Innovation Lab within the MedStar Institute for Innovation creates a dynamic, collaborative environment to pursue new approaches to care and clinical workflows across the care continuum. Working hand-in-hand with MedStar Telehealth Innovation Center, the Care Innovation Lab strives to enhance and expand access to MedStar Health facilities and other offerings, including in patients’ homes and beyond.
Our telehealth center was established in March 2017 and our work expanded exponentially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As connected care has scaled as an enduring aspect of care delivery, we have also expanded our related operations, innovation strategy, research, education, and advocacy.
MedStar Telehealth Innovation Center provides telehealth infrastructure, best practices, subject matter expertise, project implementation, and programmatic operational support across MedStar Health through the focus areas that follow. We collaborate closely with our partners across the system to make these offerings possible—and with the highest levels of quality and safety.
Our Consultative Telehealth team advances inpatient and facility-based telehealth, enabling provider-to-provider, provider-to-patient, and patient-to-family connections. We work to ensure a positive telehealth experience for the patients and providers we serve by leading telehealth platform operations and maintenance, and offering technology innovation, consultation, and education.
Examples of our work include:
Behavioral Health Telehealth Programs: Telehealth offerings transformed behavioral healthcare delivery during the pandemic and continue to offer innovative solutions as the nation faces historic demand for mental healthcare, including in emergency department and inpatient settings. Read a related case study here.
MedStar Acute Care Coordinating Center (MAC3): This program enables emergency medicine providers in command centers to provide remote triage and other support to eligible patients in our emergency departments and urgent cares 24/7 via video. Read a related case study here.
Specialty Teleconsultations: Telehealth devices can be used to make important connections if patients or providers could benefit from an expert consultation with one or more of our medical professionals located outside of their facility (e.g., telestroke, cardiology, transplant).
Telehealth Technology Coordinator (TTC) Program: This team further integrates telehealth technologies and workflow into hospital environments. A non-clinical staff member, TTCs provide the “last mile” delivery of on-site services, technical help, and session facilitation to support clinical staff and ensure reliable and timely bedside telehealth connections.
Translation Services: We also offer extensive language interpretation and translation services in our facilities and beyond via telehealth.
Our Consumer Telehealth team ensures a smooth experience during clinical telehealth interactions and patient communications that typically occur in patients’ homes or other locations outside of MedStar Health facilities. We support the following related areas.
MedStar eVisit: We offer on-demand, urgent care via video. Read how to access this care here, or past case studies that highlight our work to scale (here) and support the community (here) through this service.
Scheduled Video Visits: Patients can schedule video appointments with primary care and specialty providers. Read how to access these services here, as well as a case study here about MedStar Health scaling this platform within days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): We proactively and virtually track patients’ health surrounding visits through connected devices that gather physiologic data (e.g., blood pressure) and patient-reported outcome measures over a designated period of time (e.g., pregnancy). Our patients have used RPM tools to manage chronic conditions, maternal fetal medicine needs, COVID-19 monitoring, and more. We also leverage patient-purchased wearables (e.g., smart watches) to help certain populations maintain health and wellness. Read about access here or a COVID-related case study here.
Patient Engagement Solutions: To continue meeting patients where they are and when it is best to communicate, our team has been exploring, building, and scaling multi-channel, digital engagement solutions, such as program-specific chatbots and integrations of select consumer wearables.
Telehealth Operations Support Center
This remote team supports patients and providers with telehealth-related needs, including real-time technical support, provider scheduling, virtual waiting room management, patient prescriptions, problem resolution, and other activities. They also regularly help teams to innovate and integrate related enhancements to continue elevating telehealth capabilities and experiences.
Policy and advocacy
The telehealth policy landscape transformed nationally and regionally in order to support the COVID-19 response, and continues to experience great examination and change as stakeholders now strive to stabilize the legislative environment. Overall, our experts believe policy progress currently supports telehealth serving as an enduring and sustainable aspect of care delivery and will continually monitor and respond to critical legislative activity. To encourage telehealth access, quality, safety, and equity, MedStar Health often collaborates with advocacy partners to share operational and research insights that can help inform public policy.
Education and fellowship
Given the rapid and wide-ranging expansion of telehealth in recent years, we have both increased and diversified our related education offerings. In addition to regularly calling upon the expertise and services of MedStar Health SiTEL within our own MedStar Institute for Innovation team, we have also added a dedicated educational expert to our own team to explore and pursue related possibilities and create specialized provider training programs.
MedStar Health Telehealth Fellowship is a one-year fellowship program managed through a joint effort between MedStar Washington Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Emergency Medicine Residency, and the MedStar Telehealth Innovation Center. The fellowship immerses participants in a leading connected care program to learn more about regulatory requirements, telehealth revenue cycle, and business development, with 60% of scope dedicated to working as an attending physician. Learn more.
Research and collaboration
With a commitment to furthering telehealth research and education, MedStar Telehealth Innovation Center has helped make the following efforts possible:
Connected CARE—Care Access, Research, Equity—& Safety Consortium is a multi-health system effort, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to study the impact of telehealth in these named focused areas. Learn more.
Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Center (RESPTC) Grant Efforts are supported by our team in telehealth capacity and other related needs. This $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) positions MedStar Washington Hospital Center to become a FEMA Region 3 referral site and set up a biocontainment unit. Learn more.
Additional Published Research, conducted in collaboration with the MedStar Health Research Institute, includes papers published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare and npj Digital Medicine.
Care Innovation Lab initiatives
Our Care Innovation Lab works across the spectrum of care delivery models at MedStar Health to explore, build, and scale new ideas and capabilities that will advance the future of health care. Examining a wide range of emerging care technologies, opportunities, and innovations, the Care Innovation Lab team partners across MedStar Health and beyond to transform care delivery.
Examples of priority innovation initiatives the Care Innovation Lab is accelerating include:
Connected Care: We are transforming the care delivery workforce and workflows that use telehealth and related technologies/tools (e.g., same day/next day telehealth visits, prescription refill automation, etc.) to enhance patient access, provider experience and wellbeing, practice efficiency, and financial sustainability. The connected care model was initially applied exclusively to primary care services, but is now being scaled to include specialty and condition-specific services, such as diabetes care. Learn more.
Care at Home: We are elevating the monitoring and sophistication of care that MedStar Health patients can receive from their homes by centralizing and advancing our related system strategy, priority programs, and vendor partnerships (e.g., remote monitoring).
Nursing Innovation: We are striving to improve nursing workflow and experience by leveraging innovative approaches to patient care and novel technologies (e.g., virtual nursing, telesitting) to disrupt and address the challenges associated with current practice.
Our innovation labs
Representing one of three innovation labs within the MedStar Institute for Innovation, our Care Innovation Lab works alongside our Business Innovation Lab and Information Innovation Lab. These teams establish and offer specialized expertise and services to ultimately help deliver innovation capabilities and solutions across MedStar Health.