Franciscan Health’s telehealth services received a nearly $1 million boost.
The health system said it will receive $929,834 from the Federal Communications Commission COVID-19 Telehealth Program for its virtual care initiatives. The $200 million program, funded through the CARES Act, assists healthcare providers purchase telecommunications equipment and increased broadband connectivity for providing telehealth services.
Franciscan Alliance will use the funds to purchase laptops, tablets, webcams and headsets used for virtual care, along with remote monitoring devices for home healthcare patients.
Throughout the crisis, Franciscan Health hospitals and Franciscan Physician Network have utilized virtual visits to work with patients. Franciscan Health estimates it has conducted more than 100,000 telemedicine visits.
Beth Keultjes, administrative director of Franciscan Visiting Nurse Services, said while Franciscan has been doing remote patient monitoring through VNS since 2005, the FCC award “is going to allow us to expand our services to do even more for these critical care patients.”
Keultjes said Franciscan will install a monitoring system in the homes of high-risk patients, providing monitoring equipment to measure blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight daily. The data will be reviewed by critical care nurses.