5 ways telehealth can stop revenue from leaking out of your system

With many health systems still dealing with financial stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure money and market share are not lost to competitors. One way to reduce unnecessary patient transfers and revenue leaving the organization is by using a telehealth and communication platform to connect facilities.

That's what Forrest Winslow, RN, BSED, NRP, Northeast regional sales manager for Pulsara, a healthcare communication and telehealth platform, discussed during a March 23 workshop at the Becker's Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum. 

Five takeaways:

1. Health systems may be overspending on their electrocardiogram tool. Health systems have reported spending more than $12,000 annually on ECG transmissions for emergency medical services (EMS) providers to send ECGs to the hospital, so physicians or staff can determine the seriousness of the patient's heart condition, according to Mr. Winslow. He said money that health systems are currently spending on transmission fees could be saved by leveraging a telehealth or communication platform that has this functionality built in.

 2. Health systems can grow their revenue around a telehealth solution. Mr. Winslow said a telehealth solution can allow a health system to provide care for more patients faster, which will increase the rate at which the system can accept patients. He gave the example of an arriving heart attack patient, stating that if a health system can plan for that patient's treatment via telehealth during transport, it can more efficiently care for the patient and be readily available once the patient arrives.

3. The right telehealth communication tool can lead to more satisfaction among first responders. Mr. Winslow said that EMS and first responders are more satisfied when a health system has telehealth communication tools. "A lot of times when you are technology-driven, and users have a better experience, you're going to become that preferred referral site. Preferred for EMS, for being that destination where they want to take their patients when they have [a] choice of coming to you or your competitor," he said. 

4. The right telehealth communication tool can also lead to more satisfaction among hospital teams by making their ability to care for patients more pleasant. Mr. Winslow said Pulsara's mobile technology can be used to activate interventional teams and allow them to communicate in a way where Pulsara breaks down communication silos. The platform includes a unified patient channel that builds teams around the patient's emergency. That could be a pulmonary embolus response team or any other team for any patient event. Then, Mr. Winslow said, teams communicate on that unified patient channel until the emergency is mitigated.

5. The right telehealth communication tool brings the entire care team into the care continuum. Mr. Winslow explained: "Quite often, once an emergency is mitigated, EMS and ED staff don’t have an understanding of what the outcome for any given patient was. But with Pulsara, they are part of the care continuum and have instant access to all of the patient's information throughout the care journey." He said health systems are also capturing critical time and data points to aid in quality improvement and ease of reporting.

To view the workshop on-demand, click here. To learn more about Pulsara, click here.

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