Meeting quality-of-care guidelines while making care more accessible at a lower cost
Navigating the myriad and changing federal data privacy guidelines
Responding to the massive shifts in payment and reimbursement models
Facing a shortage of specialists to care for a growing and aging population
Operating in this fluid, uncertain and often chaotic environment, healthcare organizations must constantly balance providing the highest quality patient care and keeping costs in check. That’s a tall order, but an acute telemedicine program can go a long way toward filling it. Here are four ways it can do just that:
Acute telemedicine gives hospitals the ability to deliver qualified care to any location in minutes. It can also enable coordinated care for patients recovering at home or in rehab facilities or nursing homes, eliminating the need for patient travel to hospitals. Not only do patients benefit, but physicians can treat more patients and be on call to consult remotely at multiple hospitals.
1 in 8 emergency department (ED) patients has a mental health or substance abuse issue. These patients wait three times longer than other patients to be seen, clogging EDs nationwide.
Telemedicine can provide quicker access to psychiatrists in the emergency room. CaroMont Regional Medical Center in North Carolina saw a 65% decrease in the number of mental health patients who spent more than 24 hours in the ED by using telePsychiatrists.
Acute telemedicine affords physicians the opportunity to increase caseloads across a broader area, helping them build their clinical “muscle memory” within their specialty. For example, they can become better at assessing the risk of administering the clot-busting drug, tPA, to an ischemic stroke patient or deepen their understanding of recent clinical trials. Extending this across hospital systems makes a board-certified specialist just a video call away for complex cases.
Robust teleNeurology programs have a higher-than-average rate of tPA administration and lower ICH rate, which translates as better stroke treatment.
Virtual specialty physicians paired with on-site clinicians can help hospitals achieve and maintain Primary Stroke Certification or standardize and reinforce robust protocols across departments, outlying hospitals and partner organizations.
Hospitals can remedy many staffing and coverage challenges with telemedicine. A salaried specialist at a large hospital can see more patients per shift by providing video consults to outlying areas, increasing billings without increasing costs. A large, urban hospital can provide access to in-house neurologists for stroke treatment to a smaller hospital, improving the speed and quality of care and increasing the likelihood of the patient seeing the same physician if transferred to the larger hospital. Telemedicine can also reduce Medicare readmissions penalties with better, earlier, less costly at-home follow-up.
Physicians performing at the "highest level of certification" can spend less time performing administrative tasks and more time on providing highly skilled care to patients.
Telemedicine-as-a-platform allows a telemedicine program to be deployed, optimized and scaled across multiple sites rapidly, seamlessly and cost-effectively. Hospitals don’t have to build a program from scratch. Tested controls, proven workflows, 24/7 support, and continuous improvement and upgrades, plus the advantage of sophisticated reporting, analytics and benchmarking are just some of the benefits.