Moving from one healthcare setting to another presents one of the biggest challenges in a patient’s treatment plan. Here the possibilities for medication errors, setbacks and readmissions skyrocket, unless an effective care transition plan is part of the care continuum. The most common issues with care transition revolve around communication, patient education and accountability. Leveraging some of the latest telehealth technology can have a surprisingly significant impact on care transition – some say reducing readmissions by almost 50 percent. How?
Faster response to rising health concerns. A patient with diabetes is discharged after a cardiac event. Though he’s following his doctor’s discharge orders related to his heart, repeated blood glucose spikes land him back in the hospital. If remote vital signs monitoring like wireless blood glucose and blood pressure devices were part of the care transition plan, caregivers and providers would automatically receive alerts when readings were off, enabling them to quickly and proactively address any rising health issues.
Built-in timely follow up. You undoubtedly have a skilled staff – with a large workload. Telehealth technology makes it easier for them to do their jobs, and easier to know when a patient’s condition has changed. Today’s technology comes with benefits like setting daily weekly notifications, adding in immediate alerts for key changes, setting alarms for unauthorized medication attempts, for faster intervention, fewer ER visits and fewer readmissions. For medications, for vital signs, for falls, you can design an online, wireless monitoring and reporting system that improves your level of care, creates better outcomes and enhances the care transition.
Better patient engagement. Today’s advanced health monitoring technologies take little effort from the patient – key to encouraging compliance with discharge plans. Single button operation, wireless designs and readings within minutes mean patients can take key metrics like blood pressure, pulse oximetry, blood glucose and weight with little disruption to their daily routines. Immediate data transmission ensures you have good data to easily track trends and changes to client conditions.
Continued care even with new or unknown issues. Let’s say a patient understands and even repeats all instructions during discharge, but at home, doesn’t follow the treatment plan. Repeated efforts fail and readmission is unavoidable. Two months later, dementia is diagnosed. With telehealth technologies like remote patient monitoring, medication management systems and medical alert systems, both the patient and caregivers would have received reminders, and notifications when key metrics were off, potentially avoiding readmission.
Less stress on patients and caregivers. One of telehealth’s biggest appeals for caregivers and patients alike is the option of transferring some of the load. Remembering medication times and dosages, taking consistent health metric readings, plus worrying about safety and fall prevention can take a toll on even the strongest, most proficient among us. Wireless vital signs monitoring, medication organizers with auto alerts and notifications and medical alert systems with unlimited access to registered nurses provide not just tools but invaluable peace of mind that increases the odds of successful care transition.
Find the patients at risk for readmission faster, improve the continuity of care and increase patient satisfaction – telehealth technology can do all that and more.