Alameda Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing is proud to partner with TeleHealth Solutions, a leading provider in Telemedicine services!
Treating in Place is one of those buzzwords in healthcare right now that sounds deceptively simple, but isn’t easy to achieve. For the Skilled Nursing Facility, treating in place can mean a major difference in a number of areas. It reduces return to hospital visits (RTH) and provides peace of mind, especially for those who suffer from dementia, memory care, or complex conditions.
Why Transfers in Care Matter
Transfers of care are always imperfect. Like a game of telephone, transfers produce lost knowledge, meaning repeating diagnostic lab work, tests, or imaging. Transfers of care in elderly patients have been proven to increase risks of delirium, complications and discomfort, while adding stress to caregivers.
Elderly patients and those with dementia and Alzheimer’s are disproportionately impacted when transfers of care occur. Changing their environments makes them more agitated, effects nutritional intake, and increases sundowning. Hospitals are not often as equipped as the skilled nursing facility at managing these behavior changes. In addition to risking delirium, statistically, 30-day hospital readmission for dementia patients markedly increases morbidity and development of secondary complications. The same is true of post-surgical patients, who are already often confused by changes in care setting and getting used to rehabilitating their bodies.
How Telemedicine Can Help
Dedicated telemedicine hospitalists are acute care experts, available when in-house providers are not present. Through technology, they work directly with our staff members who know, and can evaluate acute changes in patients and residents. Telemedicine providers respond in minutes, at bedside, for any patient or resident requiring medical attention. Through telemedicine carts and two-way HD video, they help guide our staff through an exam. Telemedicine physicians can order any tests that our facility has the capability to perform. Basic telemedicine devices are equipped with a 12 lead EKG, a virtual stethoscope, high definition camera, and other diagnostic tools to perform an evaluation. They are also able to access and document in our electronic medical record. Thorough evaluations allow telemedicine physicians to treat in place while keeping patients and residents in our familiar environment without the stress of unnecessary and costly emergency room visits. All of this means better care with a peace of mind for patients, residents, family members, and staff. It also means our elderly population can receive faster medical care, for lower cost, with fewer transfers.