HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute Provides Rapid Expert Care
HealthEast’s Kidney Stone Institute is providing rapid expert care to patients with kidney stones. This new model of care was developed to address an identified shortcoming of emergency department (ED) care that is very effective at reversing patient symptoms, but is not sufficient to manage the full course of care needed for kidney stone patients.
Appropriate outpatient management can prevent patients from returning to the ED and from unnecessary surgery. HealthEast recognized that the root of the issue was the absence of specialty support in the ED at the time of decision-making.
This new model, spearheaded by HealthEast’s Andrew Portis, MD, gives the ED real-time consultation with kidney stone specialists. This may be done remotely and can involve expert review of CT imaging and lab data. The model provides reassurance to the ED that the patient can be managed as an outpatient so there is less inclination to rush to a surgical solution. The Institute established dedicated same day/next day clinic appointments and symptom control strategies with 24-hour telephone service to support outpatient success. To round out the model, the kidney stone specialist accepts primary responsibility for the patient, bringing immediate expert management of the primary need.
A two-year study of this new model of care found it cut repeat emergency department visits nearly in half, decreased hospital admissions by 42 percent, and cut the cost of care by more than 21 percent, saving more than $1,000 per emergency department encounter. What’s more, it markedly improved the patient experience, as several patients attest in these videos.
This promising new care model was awarded the 2011 Innovations in Health Care Award from HealthPartners and was a finalist for Medica's 2011 “Raising the Bar: Rewarding Innovation in Transformational Care Delivery.”
For more information about HealthEast’s Kidney Stone Institute, visit the Institute website or contact Dr. Portis at 651-326-3830.