How Does Telemedicine Work?
Telemedicine is on the rise, which is why skilled nursing facilities and other providers should seriously consider joining the 76% of hospitals in the U.S. already using it. Knowing how telemedicine works will likely become an ever more important component of healthcare in the future.
What Is Telemedicine?Telemedicine is simply any means whereby doctors, nurses, specialists, etc. can provide healthcare to patients and residents, whether that’s by phone, video chat, email, etc.
How Telemedicine WorksTelemedicine works with remote telecommunications technology, such as a phone or mobile device with internet access. Through an online portal, residents can get quick answers to questions, share readings from medical devices, and consult with professionals. In an SNF, residents might contact nursing staff with pressing healthcare concerns, or staff members might check in remotely to take measurements. In addition, telemedicine gives staff members an immediate point of access with residents—vital in the event of an emergency.
Reasons Skilled Nursing Facilities Should Adopt TelemedicineEffective use of telemedicine offers many benefits to SNFs, professionals, and their residents.
Benefits for ResidentsFirst—and perhaps most importantly—telemedicine can yield many benefits for the residents and patients your facility serves. These benefits include:
- Residents can receive treatment in place instead of being transferred to the hospital emergency department.
- Facilities offering telemedicine visits typically have lower hospital readmission rates.
- Residents can consult with specialists without the need for transfers between facilities.
- Complex or chronic conditions are easier to manage.
- Residents and their families are more engaged.
Benefits for ProfessionalsNaturally, there are benefits for providers as well as recipients. Telemedicine offers these benefits to professionals:
- Telemedicine eliminates the administrative burden of setting up in-person visits.
- There are fewer no-shows and cancellations.
- Professionals have less exposure to contagions when meeting with patients remotely.