For SNFs, the Right Telemedicine Partner Makes a HUGE Difference

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Using Telemedicine, Transform Skilled Nursing Homes into Hubs of Care.

It is store-and-forward technology (asynchronous communication) that records, stores, and transmits patients’ data (e.g., test results) to medical professionals, who analyze it to support diagnosing or treating without real-time interaction. This article will explain how telemedicine can benefit nursing homes and discuss the requirements for implementing telehealth software. 

By 2030, the number of people aged 80 and above is projected to rise to 202 million; by 2050, it will reach 434 million. During the COVID-19 epidemic, elderly people were the most vulnerable population stratum. Epidemiological and clinical data indicate that the elderly are more susceptible to developing severe forms of COVID-19. Multiple coexisting chronic diseases result in a worse prognosis and increased mortality.

85.1% of nursing home residents in the United States are 65 years and older. Because they are a risk group, older people should be conscientious about maintaining social distancing. Even though they are isolated, elderly residents of nursing homes still require regular monitoring of their chronic illnesses.

Telemedicine in Nursing Homes:

Using telemedicine can help nursing homes adopt a person-centered approach to health care, provide patients with more effective care, and mitigate geographic and access-related limitations that are often critical. SNFs use telemedicine technology software such as Hucu.ai, online video conferencing, and store-and-forward doctor-patient communication.

Doctors can keep remote track of patients using smart wearable devices to monitor health conditions in real-time (heart rate, oxygen level, blood pressure, etc.). Doctors can analyze the data and customize treatment for patients using RPM, no matter where they are. RPM detects even the slightest change in the health status of elderly patients, enabling doctors to provide the best care. Hucu.ai telehealth software is fully integrated with RPM and other latest technologies, storing cloud-based data that can be accessed from anywhere.

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Audiovisual technology allows for remote communication between patients and doctors via online secure video conferencing (synchronous communication). Healthcare specialists can diagnose, consult, prescribe, and adjust treatment for older patients, thereby avoiding in-person visits to nursing homes. Physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, physical therapists, and other telehealth providers are among those who provide services.

There is real-time communication between patients’ data (e.g., test results) and medical professionals, who interpret it to aid in diagnosis or treatment using store-and-forward technology.

Critical Factors for Successful Telemedicine Implementation in Nursing Homes

Achieving HIPAA compliance.

Hucu.ai recommends that providers delivering telehealth utilize HIPAA-compliant telehealth software from the outset to avoid paying severe HIPAA-related penalties later on, given the temporary suspension of such penalties in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hucu.ai healthcare developed HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software for your nursing care facility with data encryption and access control measures implemented.

Comprehensive Technical and User Support.

Your in-house team or a telehealth solution provider should continuously monitor the app, troubleshoot any emerging issues, investigate and eliminate their root causes, and perform regular security checks to safeguard the safety of PHI. You will also likely require human user support, as some nursing home patients may be unwilling or unable to utilize the app’s self-service functionality.

Using Telemedicine in Nursing Homes Can Provide a Number of Advantages.

Telehealth for Patients

Senior residents accept teleconsultations with the attending physician for various reasons, including the chance to connect with a variety of medical experts around the clock if the patient requests it. In general, it improves residents’ quality of care and health by allowing them to speak to the physician immediately.

Telehealth for Nursing Homes

Using telemedicine allows nursing homes to offer care that is just as good as what patients receive at a hospital but at a lower cost. By avoiding hospitalizations and hospital readmissions, nursing homes using telemedicine can increase the odds of receiving value-based care bonuses by ensuring continuity of care, lowering travel expenses, and reducing the risk of Medicare penalties.

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The SNF VBP Program rewards skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) by providing value-based bonuses, focusing on the quality of care SNFs provide to Medicare beneficiaries whose hospital readmissions are measured.

An example of this is when a nurse at a nursing home overestimates a resident’s illness, resulting in the patient being hospitalized unnecessarily, which may result in the facility being penalized. If the nursing facility can communicate with a healthcare professional via audio and video conferencing for an urgent assessment of a patient’s condition, this error will be avoided.

Telehealth The challenges for SNFs

There are some instances in that telehealth might need to be more efficient at SNFs. We’ve discovered two situations that could cause problems activating telehealth in the SNF market.

  1. Building Restrictions in SNFs – SNFs with building restrictions could hinder the readily available telehealth service development. As skilled professionals might be in a position to not work on-site for COVID hours, they might be required to think about other alternatives, such as telehealth. The skilled nursing facilities are restricted to who’s allowed into the facility. The building has been locked, and no visitors have been permitted, so it’s been a difficult season for SNFs.
  1. Personnel and Equipment should be increased in Remote Areas. When we think of patients living in rural or remote regions, they might need adequate equipment and an internet connection to access telehealth services. In addition, the staff may not be able to reach patients and provide appropriate care. This situation could be difficult for everyone involved, as establishing the telehealth program could be challenging. 
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Tips for Implementing Telehealth

Although the implementation of telehealth within SNFs is yet to pick up steam to the fullest extent, there are certain elements that could facilitate the process of implementing this particular kind of program. When considering how to incorporate telehealth into these environments, we suggest SNFs consider the following aspects:

  • Learn when you can utilize telehealth at your workplace.
  • Choose and train the best professionals to use the telehealth system.
  • Check that the proper equipment is installed.
  • Prepare locations to provide and provide telehealth services.

In addition to these recommendations, It is essential to be aware of federal, state, and regulations for payers about the use of telehealth before implementing the technology for your SNF.

By 2025, the global telehealth and telemedicine markets will have grown to $ 191.7 billion, making them an attractive investment opportunity. Because telemedicine gives nursing homes a competitive edge and improves patient satisfaction with healthcare, these areas are promising for investment. 

When we look at the bigger overall picture, we’re reminded within the SNF world. It’s not all about saving money or reducing costs; what’s important is the relationship between the therapist and the patient. Although it’s yet to be determined how telehealth can best be integrated into the new norm of sorts, constant efforts are being made to ensure that patients and therapists can benefit from this latest technological advancement, where patients rely less on face-to-face interactions.

Hucu.ai telehealth software can assist you with integrating telemedicine for nursing homes at any stage. Get a consultation before you purchase and discuss what features will benefit your telemedicine app.

Please get in touch with Hucu.ai for assistance in creating a high-quality telehealth solution with the appropriate feature set for your healthcare organization. Get a consultation before making a decision.

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