How Can Telehealth Benefit Post Acute Care?
Telehealth has opened up numerous possibilities for the world of healthcare. With the onset of CoVid, the landscape of the healthcare industry has changed, transforming everything from the way doctors treat people to basic operations.
Telehealth has swooped in, carving a space for itself, growing leaps and bounds. Telehealth and acute care is one niche that is worth exploring in further detail, to assess the benefits telehealth may have for post acute care.
What is Post Acute Care?
If you have been hospitalized for a serious injury or illness, and have been released, you may need continued medical care, either at home or a post acute care center, with specialized post acute care providers.
Post acute care refers to a variety of medical care services that help the patient recover fully from his or her illness with continued support from practitioners. It also aids in the management of a chronic illness or disability.
Post acute care includes palliative care and rehabilitation services. The intensity of care provided is dependent on the patient’s needs. A patient may be provided care in a home or a facility with outgoing outpatient therapy.
Telehealth and Acute Care
There are many benefits for telehealth for acute care:
Telehealth brings the software to the heart of healthcare:
It involves the use of technology as the connecting link between patients and doctors over an online portal or website. You can talk to your doctor whenever you choose, whether it’s over a call or text. This 24/7 access cannot be found in traditional settings. Keeping this in mind, you can imagine the vast possibilities telehealth opens for post acute care management
A key aspect of telehealth is RPM (remote patient monitoring):
The technology embedded within telehealth along with remote patient monitoring can pave the way for pre and post acute care management. It adds to post acute medical employee benefits, providing a way for clinicians to harvest and collect data and vital signs as they follow patients between formal interactions within the healthcare system.
Keeping a regular track of vitals and disease conditions allows doctors to perform early interventions which can vastly improve chronic disease management as they can catch and tackle aberrations head-on, and prevent the disease from derailing out of control. This can also reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital and visits to the emergency room.
Post-acute stabilization for patients:
Telehealth and RPM are excellent for post-acute patient stabilization because they can help keep an eye on the everyday conditions of the patient through biometric data, environmental sensors, and other check-in data. This can help gauge key indicators which can place the patient at risk for readmission, such as not taking medications on time.
In addition, the patient/healthcare provider can set up a time for communication. The post acute care provider can provide a reminder for treatment and set up a support network with other players in telehealth to support the patient.
The telehealth interface is designed to make patients engage with their health on a greater level:
Patient engagement is a key benefit of telehealth and post acute care. Increasing patient engagement is one of the best ways to improve patient outcomes and quality of healthcare, maximizing potential reimbursements.
When the avenue of communication opens up between the patient and the doctors a new horizon of possibilities opens up for post acute care centers and post acute providers, as they capitalise on the benefits of checking on and engaging with their consumers. There are two ways in which post acute telehealth can be carried out:
You can employ staff or call centers to perform outreach manually or they can use an automated setup much like in call centers to carry out the initial outreach and connect patients to post acute care providers who can deal with the issue. Manual outreach is much more personalized but it doesn’t have as much outreach as automated calls. However, automated calls can feel cold and off-putting for some patients. Post acute care streamlines their services to augment their patient engagement levels.
Patients can report their health statuses, any abnormalities, ask their questions, share information about their medicines, talk about their experience and shift their scheduling as they please. Once these issues have been raised, the post acute care provider staff can address concerns and resolve issues.
This will help augment activities in the post acute care centre, as they can be on top of everything such as ensuring that the patient has all their medicines in stock and adheres to their schedule. Furthermore, telehealth can help take care beyond medical bounds into other areas of concern such as issues of traveling, addressing concerns within homes thereby avoiding adverse outcomes. This benefits both the patient and the post acute care provider fiscally and otherwise.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.