By FHP on Sep 21, 2017 8:03:00 AM
HOW YOUR FACILITY COULD BENEFIT:
After many years, telemedicine is starting to lіve uр tо іtѕ potential. Drіvеn by fаѕtеr internet соnnесtіоnѕ, ubiquitous ѕmаrtрhоnеѕ and changing іnѕurаnсе standards, more hеаlth рrоvіdеrѕ аrе turning tо еlесtrоnіс соmmunісаtіоnѕ tо dо their jоbѕ—аnd іt’ѕ transforming the delivery of hеаlth саrе.
Telehealth hаѕ bееn аrоund for dесаdеѕ. Sо whу іѕ it ѕаіd to bе trаnѕfоrmіng the hеаlth саrе lаndѕсаре nоw? Thе сrеdіt might gо tо technological іmрrоvеmеntѕ аnd increasingly tіmе-сrunсhеd, financially ѕtrаіnеd facilities lооkіng for a соnvеnіеnt, аffоrdаblе ѕоlutіоn.
Telemedicine also аllоwѕ for more convenient care in places whеrе mеdісаl еxреrtіѕе is hard to come bу. It can provide a lot of value when it comes to long term care and skilled nursing facilities.
Telemedicine Benefits in Long Term Care Facilities:
- Increased access for patients to off site physicians
- Reduces unnecessary patient transportation and resource needs
- Better outcomes and reduced hospital re admissions
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR FACILITY IS READY FOR TELEMEDICINE
To know if your facility is ready to plan and implement telemedicine here are the things you should consider:
1. Do you know what your goals are for telemedicine?
Do you know what you want to achieve and why? Diving into telemedicine with clear goals in mind will save valuable time and resources.
2. Is leadership on board?
You need advocates at the top leadership levels who can champion the initiative and help meet budgets and objective goals.
3. Does your staff need more time in their day?
Would eliminating some non-emergency transportation trips and being able to access outside Physician counsel without leaving the facility help your staff?
4. Do you have a space you could designate?
Having a designated space or one that could be converted specifically for telehealth consultation will help staff and residents be more comfortable with its use.
5. Are your residents comfortable with tech?
The percentage of health care employers offering telemedicine is expected to increase form 22% to 37% by 2018 and the 60+ population is the fastest growing demographic of social media users. Surveying residents to understand their comfort level with technology instead of assuming one way or the other is the best way to know.
If you answered YES to these five questions it's likely your long-term care facility is ready for telemedicine. Here's some next steps to start thinking about.
- Start researching software, hardware and consultant options
- Develop and incorporate telemedicine policies into existing staff policies
- Create a step-by-step operations plan that will help you meet your goals
Your facility may be ready, or not, for telemedicine and either way is ok. It can offer many benefits when the time is right. We hope this post helped you determine if it is right for you and your residents now. Let us know in the comments if you plan to move forward with telemedicine.