The number of individuals aged 80 and above is expected to increase to 202 million in 2030 and 434 million in 2050, according to projections. The elderly are the most susceptible members of society during the COVID-19 epidemic. The elderly are more likely to acquire severe forms of COVID-19, according to epidemiological and clinical data, and the presence of numerous concomitant chronic conditions worsens the prognosis and increases mortality.
Approximately 85.1 percent of nursing home residents in the United States are 65 or older. They are one of the high-risk categories, thus social distancing should be avoided at all costs. Elderly persons in nursing homes, however, require regular monitoring and timely treatment of their chronic ailments, even if they are compelled to live in seclusion.
Summary of telemedicine in nursing homes
The use of telemedicine aids in the adoption of a person-centered approach to healthcare, the delivery of more effective patient care, and the mitigation of geographic and access-related barriers, all of which are important for nursing homes. Remote patient monitoring, online videoconferencing, and store-and-forward doctor-patient communication are all telemedicine technologies that can be utilized successfully in nursing homes.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is real-time health status monitoring enabled by smart wearable devices that capture residents' data (heart rate, oxygen level, blood pressure, and so on) and transmit it to a doctor's app accessible online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the globe. RPM assists clinicians in immediately customizing the treatment procedure by recognizing even the tiniest changes in a senior resident's well-being.
Patients' data (e.g., test results) is recorded, saved, and communicated to medical specialists using store-and-forward technology (asynchronous communication), who evaluate it to help diagnose or treat it without real-time involvement.
HIPAA compliance is one of the most important aspects to consider when implementing telemedicine in nursing homes.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, HIPAA-related sanctions for telemedicine providers were temporarily suspended. Nonetheless, Softieons advises using HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software from the beginning to avoid costly changes later.
Full software and user support
To ensure the safety of PHI, your in-house team or a telehealth solution provider should regularly monitor the app, solve any new issues, analyze and eliminate their fundamental causes, and do frequent security checks. Because some nursing home residents may be unwilling or unable to use the app's self-service functionality, you'll almost certainly need human user support.
Telemedicine in nursing homes has a lot of advantages.
In the case of patients
Senior residents are eager to participate in teleconsultations with the attending doctor for a variety of reasons, including the ability to have an online consultation with a doctor at any time, at the patient's request, to get access to a wide range of medical expertise. Seniors value the ability to visit a doctor right away, especially in an emergency scenario late at night (e.g., an accidental fall). It increases the overall quality of care and residents' well-being.
Facilities that provide nursing care
It promotes treatment continuity, lowers travel costs, and lowers the risk of Medicare penalties. It also raises the likelihood of winning value-based care bonuses * by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and readmissions.
For example, in traditional elder care, a nurse may overestimate a nursing home resident's illness, resulting in unnecessary hospitalization, putting the nursing care facility at risk of penalties, and limiting the nursing care facility's chances of winning value-based care bonuses. This will not occur if the nursing home has the ability to communicate with a healthcare practitioner remotely via voice and video for an immediate examination of the patient's condition.
Telemedicine can help nursing homes provide better care.
By 2025, the global market for telehealth and telemedicine would be worth $ 191.7 billion, making these fields attractive for investment. Telemedicine gives nursing homes a competitive advantage and improves the satisfaction of their residents with their healthcare. You are welcome to contact Softieons healthcare IT team if you are developing telemedicine software for nursing homes and require assistance at any stage of the development process.