Jose is a 50-year-old man with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) and a history of urinary tract infections. It’s Saturday afternoon, and he’s complaining of pain with urination and refused to eat his lunch earlier in the day. In the past, his group home staff would be making plans to bring in backup staff to support him with an emergency room visit and canceling the plans made for Jose’s roommates to go to an outdoor concert that night, as there is only one vehicle available for all of the residents of the group home.
When Jose gets to the emergency room, he usually waits for 4-6 hours to be treated by a clinician unfamiliar with the complex and unique needs of people with I/DD.
Sound familiar? This scenario and other similar scenarios play out in group homes every day. But across the country, this is changing. And at the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference, IntellectAbility and StationMD presented a proven solution for how to vastly improve care and better support individuals with I/DD and their provider agencies.
StationMD is a telehealth company dedicated to serving individuals with I/DD. Their clinicians conduct 35,000 virtual consultations annually with individuals with I/DD in 21 states and counting. Together with IntellectAbility, developer of the Health Risk Screening Tool (HRST), a web-based screening tool that detects health destabilization in people with I/DD, Jose and others like him now have a much better option for urgent care than going to the ER. They can receive more patient-centric care without ever leaving home.
Historically, people with I/DD have not had the same access to what many of us now consider routine health care, including telemedicine. This is particularly concerning since people with I/DD tend to have more significant medical needs and poorer health outcomes. And traditionally, they require more emergency care but are more likely than the general population to experience adverse complications or death while hospitalized.
Now, picture a scenario where Jose’s symptoms of a urinary tract infection are addressed through a telehealth call to StationMD, where an I/DD-specialized clinician treats him from the safety and comfort of his home.
With a call and a click, Jose is connected with a StationMD clinician, who can access his medical history and see Jose’s completed HRST on the interface. The interface prominently displays vital information about Jose’s most significant health risks, including his history of urinary tract infections. This information is critical to the StationMD clinician, who determines the best treatment for Jose.
During the consultation, medication is electronically prescribed—no backup support needs to be called in, and an emergency room visit is avoided. The impact on Jose, and the others living in the group home, is minimized. Everyone gets to go to the concert as planned. This is what Health-Risk-Informed Telemedicine (HRIT™) is all about.
The benefits of HRIT™ are being realized in a statewide program available to people receiving Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver services in Missouri through a partnership between the Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities, StationMD, and IntellectAbility. IntellectAbility has teamed up with StationMD to integrate a summary of HRST results within the StationMD telemedicine platform for Missouri’s DD Waiver population.
When a Missouri DD Waiver recipient calls StationMD for an urgent care matter, the StationMD clinician sees the IntellectAbility interface with crucial information about the person’s health risks. In addition to that provided by the person and/or their supporters, this information informs clinical decision-making and helps resolve the person’s issue without them having to leave home.
Approximately 90% of StationMD patients have their medical matters resolved without ever leaving home. The patient populations with completed HRSTs have an added benefit. By integrating IntellectAbility’s HRST interface with StationMD’s telemedicine platform, clinicians and support providers have more clarity about an individual’s complex health conditions and their unique care needs. “Our collaboration with IntellectAbility in Missouri is a model for how to provide a better quality of care.
People with I/DD in rural areas, urban areas, and everything in between can access patient-centric care from the doctors who understand their needs best, receive care when they need it most, from the comfort of their home, and in a timely manner. This results in achieving better health outcomes sooner, maintaining wellness longer, and most importantly, it improves the quality of life for the individual and everyone in their circle of support,” said Dr. Maulik Trivedi, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at StationMD.
IntellectAbility provides tools and training to agencies, governmental entities, and supporters of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to foster early recognition and mitigation of health risks, thereby improving health and wellness. For more information, visit ReplacingRisk.com. StationMD is a telehealth company dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). Learn more at StationMD.com.
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