Diversity & Inclusion
COVID-19 / Digital access / Funding / Health tech

ChristianaCare got funding to make telemedicine more accessible to vulnerable communities

A $714,000 FCC grant will be used to increase access to devices and broadband data plans so patients can receive medical advice safely at home.

The ChristianaCare bus in December 2019. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Following a national trend toward increased access to telemedicine, ChristianaCare announced Monday that it has received a $714,000 grant, funded by the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program via the federal CARES Act, to help expand its COVID-19 telemedicine program. It is one of 17 healthcare systems nationwide to receive a telemedicine grant.

The Delaware healthcare system, which began increasing its use of telemedicine before the pandemic and currently uses it within its hospitals to limit healthcare workers’ exposure to the virus, will use the funds to increase access in vulnerable, underserved areas by providing devices and broadband data plans so patients can receive medical advice safely at home — a key component to its CareVio care management program. It will also expand on-site telehealth services to members of the community with challenges accessing virtual health services.

ChristianaCare’s CareVio care management program uses secure text messaging to connect patients with a registered nurse who monitors their condition several times per day to make sure the patient is improving. If the patient’s condition begins to deteriorate, a telemedicine visit with a provider is scheduled.

So far, CareVio has monitored more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients and has called more than 4,400 patients following COVID-19 testing to answer questions and ensure they have a primary care provider, per a press release.

“Before COVID-19, ChristianaCare was charting a course to transform care based on the vision that all care that can be done in the home, in the community or on a smartphone,” said Dr. Janice E. Nevin, ChristianaCare president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “This transformation has accelerated exponentially during the pandemic, because at this time, the safest place for our patients is in their home. The technology supported by this grant will ensure that patients receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place, dramatically lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19.”

Companies: ChristianaCare / FCC
Series: Coronavirus

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