Many elder care facilities are looking to telehealth to assist in areas where they are coming up short or could use more help. Typically, the need for telehealth stems from remote living conditions (35% of elder care populations are in isolated counties), physician shortages, underserved communities, and wanting to facilitate healthcare without third party payers. However, the main goal of implementing telehealth solutions is to provide the best experience and community for residents.
Areas that telehealth can assist include: pain assessment and management, urological care, behavioral and psychiatric health, post-operative care, blood pressure, glucose measurements, sleep apnea, cardiac care, wound care, dermatology, bariatric care, and audiology. A concern of many elder care residences is affording the telehealth system, but because of the Benefits Improvement Act of 2000, many nursing homes qualify for reimbursement of telehealth services.
Other than helping in a massive number of departments, telehealth and video conferencing helps reduce patient isolation and staff. Patients are able to connect to family members via video conference if they live far away. Staff awareness of resident issues is also heightened as is early detection and communication are increased in everyday and emergency situations.