Atrium Health Virtual Edge offers unified platform for vast array of virtual health expertise and professional services

Atrium Health has announced it is now offering a complete array of virtual care capabilities, Atrium Health Virtual Edge. The offering includes primary care and specialty care, as well as hospital care and home care. According to the company, Atrium Health Virtual Edge is delivering a new standard for thousands of patients across the region, every day, by improving access and care for all.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health has 42 hospitals and 1,500 care locations across the Carolinas and Georgia which log over 15 million patient interactions each year. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent, in Georgia.

“Since the beginning, our goal has been crystal clear; to make virtual health an everyday part of how we care for patients,” said Dr. Scott Rissmiller, executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atrium Health. “We realized years ago that there were cost factors, convenience factors and access issues that could be improved upon through advancements in virtual care delivery. With dozens of rural hospitals closing their doors, we recognized that we could extend the reach of our renowned clinicians to help more people through virtual care.”

“Virtual health is no longer a nice-to-have or an augmentation of care,” he added. “It is an essential and necessary way of clinical care delivery and customer service for any healthcare system. It allows us to deliver affordable, accessible care for all. Clinically appropriate and timely care is provided in the place most convenient and beneficial for the patient – close to home or in the home – and, because it’s virtual, it removes many of the barriers to access that exist in both rural and underserved communities.”

Over the past year, since early in the pandemic, Atrium Health has received numerous accolades for the Atrium Health Hospital at Home program. According to the company, it has allowed tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients to be treated virtually, in the comfort of their own home,  freeing up bed space while conserving staff time and personal protective equipment. It has since been extended to cardiac patients. But the success of that program was spawned by ten years of prior innovation in the virtual care space at Atrium Health.

Atrium Health Virtual Edge is designed to foster partnerships with other hospitals or health systems, employers and commercial payors. It aims to deliver consumer-oriented care options that attract and retain patients, optimize convenient access to care and deliver outstanding, best-in-class value to patient populations. In addition, it is set up to build sustainable models that lead to cost savings by maximizing the efficiency of medical staff and reducing inappropriate utilization.

“As an organization, we are committed to being the partner of choice and the premier health system in the Southeast,” said Katie Kriener, senior vice president of Medical Group Operations for Atrium Health. “Atrium Health Virtual Edge is a major part of our strategy.

“Within Atrium Health Virtual Edge, our critical care, neurology, stroke, psychiatry, infectious disease and hospitalist programs all offer virtual hospital-based services, providing access to specialty care, while also helping balance provider supply,” she said. “We’ve been an innovator in the behavioral health space as well, providing primary, pediatric and OB/GYN practices with real-time access to a cross-functional behavioral health team. We’ve achieved significant improvement in mental health and cost, including greater than 40% remission rates, 27% reduction in avoidable inpatient visits and 7% reduction in avoidable emergency department visits.”

Atrium Health has also established virtual, school-based clinics, providing students with increased access to care during school hours, without leaving the building or parents leaving work. On-site nurses refer patients, as needed, to local pediatricians who are on-call, with parents able to easily join the virtual consultation. This has yielded 55% fewer avoidable emergency department visits and a 33% reduction in school absences.

For employers, Atrium Health delivers virtual primary and urgent care services as a part of its larger Employer Solutions offering, focused on reducing cost of care. Working with its employer partners, Atrium Health delivers experiences tailored for the needs of employee populations.

About Atrium Health

Atrium Health is a provider in shaping health outcomes through research, education and patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 42 hospitals and more than 1,500 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.

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