OSF OnCall: The Hospital Without Walls
What does the hospital of the future look like? OSF HealthCare, which has 15 hospitals throughout Illinois and the upper peninsula of Michigan, recently unveiled its OSF OnCall Digital Health building in Peoria, Illinois – where OSF HealthCare is headquartered.
OSF OnCall is the digital health entity within OSF HealthCare – essentially a hospital without the bricks and mortar. Providing an array of services anytime, anywhere, OSF OnCall includes digital platforms and software to connect people with care 24/7. The OSF OnCall building is considered the virtual hospital that serves as the epicenter of this care. It is the only one of its kind in Illinois, spanning the entire care continuum – from its digital front door through intensive care, if necessary. The care is highly personalized and reaches individuals wherever they are located, allowing for expanded services through technology.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, OSF OnCall provided innovative solutions such as the Pandemic Health Worker (PHW) program; Clare, a digital COVID-19 assistant on the OSF HealthCare website; and a 24/7 nurse hotline – all designed to alleviate stress on health care resources. Now with the pandemic easing, the new three-story OSF OnCall building in Peoria is expanding its state-of-the-art technological services to be utilized in a post-pandemic world.
“OSF OnCall is our digital health entity that sits within OSF HealthCare. So what we’re so excited about in this building is that we are able to bring our teams that were in multiple locations in the past to one location to have that care delivery that reaches across the state of Illinois – and hopefully in the future, even beyond,” explained Jennifer Junis, the senior vice president of OSF OnCall.
She continues: “This is our virtual hospital, or our hospital without walls. So what you will see within this building are our care teams that are delivering care through technology out into other areas – into our hospitals, directly to patients in their homes, and they are able to monitor them through technology. We are able to really meet patients and care for them where they are.”
OSF OnCall provides a wide array of digital health capabilities, including: Remote patient monitoring; fall prevention innovations; virtual nurse triaging; intensive care monitoring; and many more examples of state-of-the-art technology and capabilities – including OSF OnCall Connect telehealth carts.
Suzanne Hinderliter is the director of digital acute services for OSF HealthCare. She and her team monitor and manage the telehealth carts used Ministry-wide.
“This is one of our telehealth carts. We have 40 of these available across the OSF Ministry and to an outreach facility that we help monitor and manage as well. We use these within digital acute care for patients that are either in the emergency department or an inpatient unit. We also have some that are in clinics where we’re able to connect specialists and specialty care providers with patients in remote locations,” Hinderliter says.
These telehealth carts are the future of medicine – and were especially critical over the course of the last year.
“One of the things about these devices is that they are mobile – so we are able to take them to where the patient is within the hospital and get them that care. These carts were very instrumental during the COVID pandemic waves that we’ve had. We were able to get these resources out to our facilities and manage more patients than we’ve ever managed before,” explains Hinderliter.
She adds: “We can use them at all of our facilities, really providing that same level of care at a small facility like Saint Luke (Kewanee) or Holy Family (Monmouth) as we would be providing at one of our larger facilities like Saint Anthony in Rockford or Saint Francis in Peoria.”
OSF OnCall also provides hospitalist services, a technology-centric solution providing high quality inpatient care for adult patients remotely, 365 days a year. Furthermore, OSF OnCall offers an alternative to the standard inpatient acute care admission by providing all the services a patient needs for an acute care admission in the comfort of their own home. The “digital hospital at home” model provides hospital-level acute care services with a combination of in-person care and a digital command center that provides coordination, navigation, and continuity of care from initial admission through the post-acute phase of care.
“I think one of the things that is really important about the OSF OnCall building is that we use the guiding principles of ‘24/7, 365.’ So this is care that is delivered around the clock. It’s also care that is seamless. And we use the design of this building to really empower our Mission Partners, or employees, with the tools, technology, and equipment they need to care for those far reaching,” says Junis.
Learn more about OSF OnCall at www.osfhealthcare.org/oncall/.