Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC) in Safford, AZ staffs their current Inpatient Hospitalist Service with a team of three full time permanent providers. Each provider covers a 24-hour shift in 5-7-day blocks.
The typical census at MGRMC allows for the providers to sleep uninterrupted for a reasonable period of time at night to sustain this schedule.
The unprecedented volumes that their emergency room and inpatient service encounter during the onset of COVID-19 exhausted their balanced echo-system. This left their physicians burned out with nowhere to turn.
ICON, as a leading partner in providing locum tenens physicians, took fast action. We quickly realized that the hospital needed support, but to simply bring providers in to take over shifts was not enough. The providers needed an on-demand service that they could call at any moment. A service that could support the “boots on the ground” provider, not replace them. ICON’s tele-hospitalist service took fast action.
In collaboration with MGRMC’s CEO and Eric Neal, their CPO, we credentialed a team of six highly-qualified physicians who could be reached at any time, 24 hours a day. The providers were set up to remote into the facility through a HIPPA compliant remote desktop system. This allowed them to take over patients from anywhere and at a moment’s notice relieve the providers internally. There was no break in the continuity of care. All services were still provided through a well-organized protocol, carts on wheels and hands on nurse support. This relief not only benefited the physicians who were able to sleep and recuperate from a busy day, but this put a fresh face in front of hospital staff. It gave everyone the boost they needed.
As the solution launched, we started to adopt and continue to improve patient care by adding a Pulmonary Critical Care Physician to the force. Our provider, in addition to helping in the ICU on critically ill patients, continues to offer pulmonary function test readings to keep the MGRMC pulmonary service operating at a full-service level.
With ICON’s tele-health solution better patient outcomes were created, reimbursements for the facility were increased, and re-admittance rates were lowered. It’s what we call a win, win, win.