Tags: patient safety , uniform high quality , redesigning care , research and discovery

As Partners continues to innovate and discover new, effective ways to deliver patient care, it has become increasingly apparent that some patients are best cared for where they are most comfortable: in their homes.

This is where the Partners Mobile Observation Unit comes in. Often referred to as the PMOU, this service is quickly redefining the way our network handles care for acute conditions in senior populations—such as heart failure and respiratory infections—that make it difficult to get to the Emergency Department (ED).

The PMOU program is jointly supported by Partners HealthCare at Home and Center for Population Health. It was conceived as a way to deliver urgent care to chronically ill patients outside of the highest levels of acute care, namely the ED. By caring for straightforward, chronic conditions outside of the ED, patients are afforded the opportunity to avoid long wait times or lines, reduce the cost of their in-hospital treatments, and ultimately receive higher quality care.

Initially started in 2013 as a 16-patient pilot program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the PMOU now provides coverage to the greater Boston area as well as the North and South Shore. In 2016, the PMOU admitted 623 patients from these areas.

PMOU has had a tremendous impact on patient satisfaction and cost of care for certain high-risk seniors. Not only is it making patients’ lives easier by eliminating complicated transportation arrangements, long wait times, and increased risks associated with hospitalization such as hospital-acquired infections, confusion, and disability, it has reduced costs for hospital-related expenses. For example, the 200 patients referred to PMOU from MGH saved approximately $0.5 million.

Read more about the PMOU and its impact here.