Telemedicine has come to a place of prominence in the healthcare industry amid the COVID pandemic. While other industries were temporarily brought to a standstill, healthcare was able to forge ahead. This was with the use of remote doctor visits, remote consultations, and other telemedicine operations.
However, one of the most vulnerable sectors of our population who was hit the hardest by COVID are seniors. They have not been as quick to adopt telehealth in day to day practices. Nursing homes are in serious need of such a beneficial resource so that they gain access to telemedicine. Residents in nursing homes need help with many day to day activities as well as researching the best treatment options for their conditions – whether that’s finding the best hearing aid prices, help with saving money on their prescriptions or seeing specialists for new issues that arise.
Currently, 10% of all patients admitted to a nursing home for post-acute care never see a physician during their stay. This statistic is hitting these patients hard and resulting in poorer medical outcomes. For instance, a post-acute patient who does not see a physician within the first 30 days is 2x as likely to be re-hospitalized or to die. Compare this to those who do see a physician. The median stay for these patients is just 11 days, and this is often not due to being released to their homes.
On average, patients in urban areas wait 3.2 days to see a physician. In rural areas it’s a devastating 8.1 days. Two main things that could produce significantly greater medical outcomes and significantly reduce costs are the presence of an on-site APRN, and the adoption of telemedicine in daily functions.
Through these two significant changes, 83% of health issues could be treated in-house and patients could get the attention they need and deserve.