Telemedicine Helps Residents Age in Place In Assisted Living Communities

Written By: Waseem Ghannam | Oct, 29th 2017

Unnecessary hospital admissions are a proven problem in the healthcare system and have been costing hospitals, Medicare, and patients millions of dollars in the process. Hospital providers are pressured to discharge medically complex patients quicker and they depend on their post acute care partners to assume care.

Skilled nursing facilities have medical directors onsite, and have created guidelines and measurable outcomes to lower 30-day readmission rates among their patients, but assisted living communities continue to focus on hospitality and amenities, and not a medical model. As the healthcare trends continue to drive complex patients into assisted living communities, they need to focus on resident health and improving access to quality care. Over the last decade, assisted living communities have witnessed a drop in resident length of stay and an increase in resident turnover due to hospitalizations, all resulting in a loss of revenue. With this in mind, a solution needs to be in place to treat these complex patients while allowing them to age in their assisted living communities.

With a medical focus in mind, Telemedicine is the answer to improving access to care in assisted living. Telemedicine provides on demand care without worrying about transportation to hospitals, and a possible hospital admission that would likely result into a discharge to a SNF. During a virtual exam, a doctor can evaluate the patient with a high definition camera, a 12-lead EKG, a digital stethoscope, and order additional labs and tests if needed. Telemedicine will result in increased length of resident stay and lowering resident turnover, while accepting patients with multiple comorbidities. Telemedicine gives your residents access to skilled doctors for urgent and emergency needs 24/7. Virtual TeleHospitalists are key in this process, and can evaluate and treat residents from the comfort of your assisted living community. Telemedicine will save transportation cost to a hospital, an ER bill and a potential hospital admission.

While telemedicine will save healthcare dollars, it will increase resident length of stay, reduce turnover to skilled nursing facilities, and give your residents and their families a peace of mind that a medical evaluation and treatment can be performed on demand without a trip to the ER. Telemedicine is proven to be cost effective, easy to implement, and gives caregivers the confidence to care for more medically complex patients.

TeleHealth Solution

TeleHealth Solution is a Charlotte-based, physician-owned TeleMedicine group offering skilled, board-certified Hospitalists and cutting-edge technology to complement their TeleMedicine carts. TeleHealth provides virtual, face-to-face care for patients in retirement communities, long-term care facilities, county health departments, rural hospitals, and more.

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