Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Nursing homes need telemedicine. More than 10% of patients admitted to a skilled nursing facility for post-acute care never see a doctor or advanced practice nurse during their stay. Post-acute nursing home patients who don’t see a physician or advanced practice nurse are then two times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital or die within 30 days. Without a doctor visit, 28% of patients are re-hospitalized and 14% pass. With a doctor visit, only 14% of patients are re-hospitalized, and 7% pass.
Residents often find themselves waiting for days to see a doctor. On average, patients wait 3.2 days to see a physician. Medicare requires residents to see a physician within 30 days of admission, but that policy is a holdover from days when patients were primarily long-term residents in need of custodial care. 20% of hospitalized patients are discharged to nursing homes for post-acute care. These patients aren’t in need of custodial care, they need more medical interventions such as physical therapy, intravenous antibiotics, and skilled wound care that many long-term residents don’t require.
Missing or delayed medical care for nursing home residents is shown to lead to poor outcomes, so now the issue is creating a solution that better serves this vulnerable population. Nursing home residents need in-house medical care. Nursing homes with advanced practices nurses on staff reduce hospitalizations by almost 50%. In addition, if advanced practice nurses worked in every nursing home, Medicare costs could be reduced by nearly $2.8 billion a year.
Early detection is key. Many health issues can be treated in the nursing home if they are detected early. Advanced practice nurses help to recognize signs of infection and improve the recognition skills of other staff. Using automated vital sign monitoring can cut the whole process of manual monitoring down to less than a minute, while also eliminating the risk of human error. Wireless monitoring allows nurses to collect and document readings in just 2 minutes, giving them more time to focus on patients rather than paperwork and reducing costs.
Telemedicine enables all nursing homes to provide in-house medical care. In large facilities, it augments onsite clinical staff for round-the-clock care, and in small or rural facilities, it is scalable for places that can’t employ onsite clinical staff. 83% of health issues can be treated by a telemedicine physician working with on-site nursing staff, reducing hospitalization.
Telemedicine helps solve this problem by providing nursing home residents with bedside access to a team of physicians, specialists, and behavioral health services. It offers digital vital sign monitoring and automatically notifies a nurse practitioner if the readings are outside the prescribed parameters. In addition, a clinician is available virtually to respond to resident needs 24/7. Improve your nursing home’s medical care with telemedicine.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked