Dr. John Kosmeh, Director of Telemedicine, Education and Training
As we all know, the last year was certainly one of the most trying for anyone in the medical field or associated with Assisted Living and Senior Nursing Facilities throughout the country. The difficulty in getting specialty physicians, Cardiologists, Pulmonologist, Behavioral Health Specialists, etc., has always been an issue, now, couple that with the Covid-19, and most facilities are now finding it almost impossible even to get general family care to round on your residents.
RemoteMD has been working with telemedicine in the offshore industrial setting for over 20 years. We have developed programs in which we were able to drastically reduce the amount of unnecessary medical evacuations from deep-sea gas and oil rigs by keeping workers onsite and treating them via our telemedicine platforms, saving the gas and oil industry hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in medivac expenses.
Since the first signs of Covid-19, RemoteMD began to design and develop a way to answer the needs of Assisted and Skilled Nursing Facilities by bringing this same success to the onshore medical arena while focusing on maintaining the comfort, dignity, and high-quality medical care for you residents. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 40% of ED visits were avoidable in in 2018 and that number has steadily increased since then. Avoidable visits included, falls (36%), heart conditions (19%), pneumonia (12%), mental status changes, UTI, GI symptoms, fever, metabolic disturbances, skin diseases (33%)
Another CDC report showed that ED visits increased by 20 percent in the first decade of the new millennium. That translates to about 136 million visits per year. One in 5 Americans will visit the ER at least once annually. Of those trips, only 12 percent will result in admission, meaning many of those visits, as many as 65 percent, are deemed unnecessary. The result is very costly in terms of both time and money.
So, what does that mean for you? Simply put, it means we have developed a program that can assist in drastically reducing the number of unnecessary trips your residents make to the ER and the unnecessary, stress, discomfort and inconvenience it causes not only to them but to your staff and facility.
With RemoteMD’s telemedicine program, we are able to conduct a virtual visit with your residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when they need it, even if they have a PCP. If your primary care provide is not available, we will assist your resident and deliver all the information directly to your residents’ PCP. This can help determine if a trip to the ED is actually necessary as well as increase the speed in which your resident is able to receive the appropriate care. With our virtual state of the art equipment, we can conduct a 12 lead EKG, determine blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rates, temperatures, monitor lung sounds and very soon, even conduct ultra sounds and echocardiograms. With this information, our providers can determine if your resident needs to leave your facility or can stay where they are comfortable and receive the medical care they need.
This program will alleviate the number of unnecessary transports from facilities creating a much more positive experience for residents and help the overall bottom line of the facility. First, it is much more comfortable and less stressful for your resident to remain in a friendly and known environment without having to be exposed to possible other illness common in most ED today, or, the Covid-19 virus. It eliminates the need for quarantine when a resident comes back from the ED even if they were sent for non-related covid issues, increasing their comfort and lowering the stress level of an already stress filled ED trip.
It will drastically reduce the strain on staffing, transportation to and from the ED, and keep patients in house so there is no loss of day rates from patients being admitted for simple observations that can be done via telemedicine with our monitoring equipment. We will provide an expansive portfolio of specialty care physicians, Cardiologist, Behavioral Health, Geriatrics, etc. All available for same day consultations if not immediately available when the primary call is initiated with our general practice physician. If transport or specialty care is needed, our physician can communicate with the receiving provider and monitor the progress of your resident as well as provide all information to the PCP if one is listed.
Staffing is an issue in almost every healthcare system nationwide. Many of the falls and medication discrepancies our contributed to staffing related issues. The general answer seems to be, hire more staff. Unfortunately, budgeting restriction may not always provide for higher skilled or additional staff to be hired. RemoteMD has developed a specialized training program to teach your staff how to use our equipment, focusing on the comfort of your residents, and assist our physicians in obtaining a full patient evaluation to provide the absolute best care for your resident. This will decrease the need for additional staff by educating you current staff on how to provide a higher quality of care.
According to a 2019 White Paper from FAIR Health, national use of telehealth services grew 53% from 2016 to 2017. Now is the time to incorporate RemoteMD’s state of the art program to increase your resident comfort and care while also increasing your facilities revenue and marketability.
1. Manage Chronic Conditions Better
For chronic illnesses such as diabetes or CPOD, remote patient monitoring can lead to more regular contact between patient and provider. That leads to better management of care. We will always contact your resident’s PCP, if there is one, with any information.
2. Reduces Risks
With RemoteMD’s program, residents avoid the risk of infection from other patients when visiting a doctor’s office or hospital. And because they communicate from your facility, they avoid the risk of having an accident while traveling, especially during bad weather conditions or overnight hours when staffing is at a minimum. Plus, they get to stay in the comfort of their own space reducing the stress and anxiety of an ED visit.
3. Saves Time
Residents receive on-the-spot care via a virtual visit, instead of waiting for their next appointment, wasting time traveling, or sitting in a waiting room. If a PCP is listed, we will communicate all information to them if needed.
4. Saves Money
Regence Health Plans reports that consumers save an average of $100 per visit when using telehealth instead of in-person office, urgent care, or emergency room visits. The cost savings are associated with medical claims, mileage and wait times in traffic and the waiting room.
5. Reduces Trips to the Hospital
Giving a senior living community the ability to connect to a doctor, nurse or specialist in real-time can eliminate the need for transport to the hospital. Studies have shown that approximately 60 to 70 percent of all nursing home transfers to the hospital are unnecessary. Also, many senior living facilities don’t have a doctor onsite 24/7 so RemoteMD’s telehealth has become a vital option.
When a common or less acute medical issue happens on weekends, holidays or other times when the PCP is not available or there isn’t one, there’s no need to wait to schedule an appointment. RemoteMD providers are just a click away. Instant access 24/7 every day of the year.
7. Keeps Caregivers Connected
RemoteMD empowers family members to take an active role in their loved one’s care. By being able to sit in on video conferences with healthcare providers, they can stay in the loop and ask the important questions. They can even monitor their loved one’s health conditions from afar through remote patient monitoring portal. RemoteMD brings peace of mind to both the caregiver and their loved one. Thus, increasing your marketability for new residents.
8. Guidance in All Emergencies We all know seconds matter in an emergency or code situation. RemoteMD providers will be there to monitor and director your code emergency until EMS can arrive to take over the scene.
We welcome you to learn more about how you can join this ground breaking pilot program and help create a kinder, higher quality of care for your industry.