Reimagine inpatient care through in-room telehealth – 3 insights

Health systems are looking for innovative solutions to do more with fewer resources. In-room telehealth provides potential for operational efficiencies, care team collaboration, significant savings and better utilization of resources.

During a roundtable sponsored by Teladoc Health as part of the Becker's Hospital Review 9th Annual CEO & CFO Roundtable in November, Tammy Cress, RN, MSN, director of inpatient solutions at Teladoc Health, led a discussion about in-room telehealth opportunities.

Three insights:

  1. Health systems face multiple challenges, requiring new thinking and approaches. And one emerging player is digital technology. The shift to value-based care models, payer mix challenges, competition for commercially insured patients and financial challenges due to readmission penalties are among the challenges health systems face, according to Ms. Cress. Perhaps most significant is the shortage of nurses and caregivers, fueled in part by a loss of more than 500,000 caregivers since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Ms. Cress.

    "What I'm seeing across the United States and internationally is that all of these challenges together are forcing new thinking," Ms. Cress said.

    Part of this new thinking requires considering the role of digital technologies. "I'm seeing new strategic plans being formed about ‘how does digital fit into your overall strategy?’" Ms. Cress said.

  2. Whole-person virtual care is the future. The pandemic has made clear that virtual care is here to stay in some way, shape or form.

    In looking at how care is delivered, she envisions a combination of virtual and in-person care. "If I were to read the tea leaves," Ms. Cress said, "there will be a fundamental shift about how organizations over time choose to deliver virtual and in-person care as a combination."

    Teladoc Health envisions "a virtual in-room solution that continues to help you expand your capacity, as well as your capabilities to deliver care safely and effectively, by enabling whole-person virtual care," Ms. Cress added.

  3. Enabling telehealth capabilities and virtual access in every patient room unleashes powerful benefits. This provides clinicians and caregivers with immediate access to patients for a wide range of use cases to deliver:

    • Operational efficiencies: About two-thirds of nursing tasks are non-touch activities that don't necessarily require the caregiver to be physically at the bedside, such as admissions and discharge paperwork and medication verification, according to Teladoc Health. By moving some of those duties to virtual nurses, some organizations have been able to change their nurse-to-patient ratios to allow bedside nurses to be assigned more patients, thereby increasing their capacity.

    • Care team collaboration: In-room virtual care enables any caregiver to connect with a patient while the patient is still hospitalized. This could include social workers, chaplains, family members or even payers and financial planners.

      Other use cases include patient engagement and virtual consultation. Digitizing other aspects of care can bring other efficiencies as well: one Teladoc Health client saw a 40 percent improvement in the ability to release patients before noon, helping to increase throughput.

    As health systems look to do more with fewer resources, in-room telehealth is a way to leverage virtual care technology while ensuring patient safety and outstanding patient experience. It is likely to be a trend of the future.

    To learn more about Becker's live events, click here


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars