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In this article we talk of how practical and supportive telemedicine in nursing homes is, and some crucial points of telemedicine software adoption.
With life expectancy increasing, we face our society aging fast. People over 80 are foreseen to be 202 million in 2030 and even two times more in 20 years, in 2050. As for the global telehealth market, it will be worth almost 192 billion USD in three years. The numbers are impressive and pretty much convincing as to the telemedicine attention sphere and motivating for today’s investments.
It was already obvious during 2020 isolation that the most fragile people are those over 65 years old, they are more likely to suffer from Coronavirus complications, and need more attentive care due to their already existing chronic diseases.
In the USA, for instance, around 85% of nursing homes patients are above 65. They are endangered and therefore require extreme caution in following pandemic rules like staying away from unnecessary contacts. Yet, the isolation does not mean they are deprived from constant monitoring and good care.
Which telemedicine tools can be great for adoption in nursing homes?
The extensive telemedicine practice creates a patient-first attitude to the whole healthcare workflow, and offers much better medical services while eliminating location and other limitations that may be often vital for nursing homes. The telemedicine solutions like online video conferencing, point-of-care software, and remote patient monitoring are great for using in nursing homes. In our blog you can find a lot of information on them and more.
Online video conferencing enables real time patient-doctor remote communication. This way practitioners like therapists, nurses, physicians, psychologists, etc can confidently take treatment decisions, advise and instruct, fix medication scheduling treatment for aged patients, and avoid personal visits.
The increase of point-of-care solutions promises better outcomes and low costs through easier access to and use of diagnostic and monitoring devices. Many POC technologies are going to be adopted outside of traditional healthcare institutions. Though it will take from 5 to 10 years for consumer markets to blossom in their full power, early investment is a great and rewarding choice.
The need to confirm health economics claims for POC solutions is evident. The developers of point-of-care medical technology are becoming more and more confident that the industry will have to justify the often detached claims of cost reduction potential moved by POC solutions. The main part of these claims is driven by the idea that the savings will be fulfilled over a longer period of time by decreasing or fully ignoring clinical visits and redundant testing schemes, enabling earlier diagnostics and patient-centric plans, and encouraging society, in general, to monitor their health status with responsibility and dedication taking advantage of preventive care before getting sick.
Even if these presumptions seem to be sound and logical, none of the health economic studies can provide anything that would test the hypotheses one by one and validate the economic impact. The payer systems worldwide, including the health insurance industry, have already begun to force developers and supporters of POC devices to prove and demonstrate their long-term cost savings claims, as they get more prudent of the economic influence of expanded testing at usually higher fees than usual procedures that can happen as a result of the extensive implementation of POC devices.
For that reason, point-of-care related companies should regard pooling resources to finance the essential health economic studies. The entire industry’s tomorrow may rely on their power to persuade payers to favor POC monitoring and diagnostics over more common means.
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Remote patient monitoring (RPM) reads nursing homes residents’ health data like pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc, and shares it to a doctor’s device in real time during day and night, in any location that has Internet connection. This way curing practices are modified to personal expectations immediately, and the tiniest changes in health indicators are visible. Please, read our article on RPM for more information here.
How to make it successful for your nursing home
- Telemedicine solutions for nursing homes should definitely follow HIPAA standards. The fact that in 2020, during the pandemic, financial punishments connected to HIPAA were stopped for some time, shouldn’t give you false hopes. Be mindful, please, and implement HIPAA-relevant software at the very beginning, this way your business is safe from further transformations that are so much time and money consuming, as a rule.
- Software maintenance is essential as well as users’ reliable support. Your software development team or a telehealth partner is supposed to supervise the device functioning on a constant basis, any appearing issues have to be reported, studied and fixed as soon as possible. Moreover, regular security checkups to make sure the patient’s health information is protected. In addition to this, nursing home residents need special assistance in using technology.
Saying Yes to telemedicine for nursing homes makes a lot of things better not only for senior patients but nursing homes staff.
Aged residents are eagerly accepting online consultations with their doctors as it is super convenient, and the entry to clinical expertise is immense in this case. Immediate communication is precious, especially when it is an urgent issue like fainting or a traumatic fall. The quality of care, attention and medical support is way better, all in all. As for the nursing homes workflow, telemedicine tools provide undeniable superiority over competitors.
Nursing homes need telemedicine technologies deeply, and in future the demand will even grow more. It is inevitable, no matter how good their effect and results have been studied and analyzed at the moment.
These solutions give encouraging pathways to spot health conditions worsening sooner than usual, consequently there are more chances for clinicians to help patients effectively and in time.
What is most important, telehealth in nursing homes gives preciously high entry to specialty care, care techniques improved, and patient outcomes much better.If you consider introducing nursing home telemedicine to your business innovation, let our ZenBit team guide you. Feel free to contact us today! See you soon!