Rapid telehealth rollout was beneficial for nursing homes, but had downsides too
Posted Nov 10, 2021 from healthcareitnews.com
A University of Missouri study published this past week found that the turn to virtual care reduced stress for residents and helped increase access to services.
"For those with cognitive impairments, they might not understand on a telehealth call why or how their doctor is talking to them through a computer screen," explained Kimberly Powell, an assistant professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and lead author of the study, in a statement.
"Whether it’s a fall in the middle of the night or a sudden change in vitals, if a nurse can quickly hop on a Zoom call with a resident and make an assessment, perhaps an intervention plan can be developed that allows the resident to be treated in the nursing home, which saves time, money and an unnecessary transfer to the hospital," she continued.
"Going forward, there is also the need for better data integration, so that when clinicians are on a Zoom call with nursing home residents, they can quickly and easily access medical records such as blood tests or lab results," said Powell.
But even before the crisis, several skilled nursing facilities used virtual care technology to keep patients in place, reduce hospitalizations and improve care.
"As a nurse, I have always been fascinated with how information technology can be used to improve patient health outcomes," said the University of Missouri's Powell.