From her home in rural Washburn, Mo., Norma Stryffeler answers a video call on her iPad to visit with her Mercy Virtual navigator Christina Meckfessel, who is located more than 280 miles away in suburban St. Louis.
Stryffeler has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and a few months ago, Mercy Virtual helped her get Internet at home and supplied her with a monitoring kit that included an electronic tablet, a wireless scale that records and transmits her weight and an electronic blood pressure monitor with pulse oximeter. Stryffeler has a Mercy Virtual care team made up of Meckfessel, a nurse and a nurse practitioner who coordinate her care.
Mercy, a nonprofit health care system with operations in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, has invested about $300 million in virtual health care over more than a decade, says Dr. Randall Moore, president of Mercy Virtual when this story was reported. Moore left the organization in late March.
That investment includes about $50 million in initial building and technology costs for its virtual care hub, where Stryffeler’s care team and hundreds of other virtual care employees work. Mercy has 11 virtual care services (see below), including vEngagement. That’s the program Stryffeler is enrolled in. Read more on how telehealth services augment care and improve outcomes by clicking here.