The Partners Mobile Observation Unit (PMOU), established in 2013 by Partners HealthCare at Home with funding from Partners Population Health Management (PHM), has won a 2016 Innovation Award from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. Through this innovative program, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are deployed on an urgent basis to patients’ homes to address medical concerns while helping them avoid ED visits and/or hospitalizations. Led by Dana Sheer, Director for Special Clinical Programs, the program was initially envisioned as a divergent option from Emergency Departments (ED). Today, the program not only works with EDs but also works with Primary Care Physicians to help prevent ED visits and hospitalizations, enhance patient and physician satisfaction, and reduce medical expenses.
PMOU Nurse Practioners offer same day, home-based interventions to complex patients such as high quality evaluation, diagnostics, treatment, support, and referral for additional services or follow-up care in the comfort and safety of home. A PMOU NP is deployed within 4-48 hours from time of referral to conduct an intensive, structured visit and collaborates with the patient’s referring physician to develop treatment interventions and follow-up care. For example, patients may have an exacerbation of a chronic disease or infection, or there may be general concern about home safety or a patient’s ability to thrive at home that does not indicate hospital level of care but warrants urgent intervention.
“The PMOU is an example of innovation that creatively fills a void in healthcare in a cost effective, patient and family friendly manner that is also rewarding to the clinicians who deliver the service,” said Keren Diamond, Chief Operating Officer, PHH. The program’s outside of the box and non-traditional approach expands the reach of home care to meet today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment. “We hope it will become a spring board to further innovation in non-traditional home care services.”
The program received the Innovation award at this year’s Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts’ annual event on June 14 at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. “This event is about shining a light on the best of what home health care has to offer,” said Home Care Alliance Executive Director Patricia Kelleher. “Keeping people healthy at home and preventing costlier care are two of the hallmarks of home health and the Partners Mobile Observation Unit not only embodies that, but we hope the program will expand and be replicated.”