About Us

Curavi Health telemedicine solutions are rooted in clinical validation and customized for nursing homes.

 

Curavi Health was born out of the experiences gained in a CMS Innovation 2012 Award to improve the quality of care for people residing in long-term care facilities by reducing avoidable hospitalizations.

UPMC Community Provider Services created a program called “RAVEN” (Reduce AVoidable hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in western Pennsylvania).

Amongst a variety of interventions, RAVEN implemented support from innovative telehealth and information technologies to connect participating nursing facilities to clinicians.

This experience, along with that of UPMC’s owned skilled nursing facilities with telemedicine, was the genesis of Curavi Health.

Curavi, a Latin verb meaning “to care for,” indicates our commitment to enhancing and optimizing care for both patients and providers.

The Curavi team is passionate about delivering innovative solutions to improve the quality of care for residents while reducing costs for nursing homes.

The Curavi Health Team

Alissa A. Meade   |   Interim President & CEO
Steven M. Handler, MD, PhD, CMD   |   Chief Medical and Innovation Officer
Tracy M. Polak, CRNP, MSN   |   Vice President of Clinical Operations
Steve Menke   |   Chief Technology Officer
Chad Beadling   |   IT Specialist
Kennedy Kovick   |   Operations Administrator

Clinical Expert Panel

Joseph Ouslander, MD   |   Co-Chairman, Clinical Expert Panel
Kyle Allen, DO, AGSF   |   Clinical Expert Panel
Laurie Herndon, GNP, MS   |   Clinical Expert Panel
William Russell, MD   |   Clinical Expert Panel
Scott Schabel, MD, CMD   |   Clinical Expert Panel
Barbara Zarowitz, PharmD, BS   |   Clinical Expert Panel

Curavi Health Board of Directors

Tal Heppenstall   |   Curavi Health Board of Directors
Deborah S. Brodine, MHA, MBA   |   Curavi Health Board of Directors
Brenton Burns   |   Curavi Health Board of Directors

Testimonials

Remote Access to Physicians

The use of telecommunications gives us the ability to remotely access physicians in an acute situation. Telemedicine is our technologic resource to provide best patient care to our residents here at UPMC Seneca Place. Both our residents and employees feel a sense of comfort in knowing that an on-call physician is just a video chat away in a time of crisis.

Bobbi-Jo Skurko MSN, RN
Director of Nursing, UPMC Seneca Place

Both residents were successfully treated at the facility

I wanted to share my experience with two Curavi telemedicine consults that I completed over one recent weekend. On the first telemedicine consult I had on this particular weekend, I had a resident who had +4 pitting edema to bilateral lower extremities; they were also warm and red. She was also developing periorbital edema. This particular person has a diagnoses of dementia which causes its own issues if she has to go to the E.R. Based on my evaluation, I decided that she would be an appropriate candidate for telemedicine. The residents vital signs were stable and she did have rhonchi and wheezing noted in her lungs. I activated the Curavi system and immediately received a call back from the physician. I verbally gave the physician report on the resident including history and vitals. We then started our telemedicine conference. The physician was able to exam my resident including listening to her lung sounds via the computer. While the conference was going on, the resident’s daughter arrived to visit. She too was able to be involved in the conference. The physician was able to explain everything he was doing and about the treatment he felt the resident needed and the orders were given. After ending our virtual conference, the resident’s daughter and the other nurses that were in the conference verbalized their satisfaction at how well the system worked. The resident’s daughter also had been considering doing telemedicine to be seen by a specialist in Pittsburgh and this reinforced to her how well it worked.

The second consult went just as well. Neither resident had to go the hospital for treatment. Both residents were successfully treated here.

Ronica Rieger, RN

Cart was easy to use

A patient had a change in condition where his foot was noted to have discoloration and weeping. Patient stated this was new and that he was worried. My supervisor recommended Telemedicine. Telemedicine seemed an appropriate course of action since the doctor is able to see what the nurse is attempting to describe and is able to communicate with the patient about his concerns.

During the telemedicine consult, the doctor was very pleasant and knowledgeable. I was able to call and have the doctor return my call within a timely manner. The telemedicine cart was quick and easy to use. Telemedicine is a great tool to use when a patient needs another viewpoint. Ultimately, the patient was happy that his concerns were being addressed.

Elizabeth Mckenna

The Future of Care

“Telemedicine is the future of care in geriatrics, especially since access to qualified geriatricians can be limited.” Listen to Dr. Adele Towers discuss the importance of telemedicine.

Adele L. Towers, MD MPH FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry
Senior Clinical Advisor, UPMC Enterprises
AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Thanks for putting this technology in Nursing Homes

I was not the telemedicine person on call, but needed to evaluate a patient. This was a sick lady who I opted not to send back to the hospital on Saturday, but wanted to give her a chance at the SNF. When the nurse called me on Sunday with concerns about her escalating discomfort and knowing her labs had remained abnormal, I needed to make a decision about transfer or not.

Since I was still torn with the decision making, I decided at the spur of the moment to use telemedicine to get a sense of how the patient appeared. I was lucky to have a good and smart nurse at Heritage (Kathy) who I had been communicating with several times over the weekend. In less than 5 minutes she got the cart ready and I was able to talk to the patient and (luckily) her daughter who was in the room. I brought them both up to speed with concerns and jointly made the decision to transfer patient back to the hospital. It turns out it was the right decision as she is currently being treated for an abdominal abscess.

Although telemedicine did not prevent a readmit in this case, it helped me with valuable decision making and most of all helped with good patient care.

Sangeeta Rana, MD, MPH