When it comes to post-acute care in nursing homes, there’s a lot that can go wrong.  Patients can see a relapse in their condition, develop an infection, or (in the worst of cases) die suddenly.  When post-acute nursing home patients go without seeing a physician or advanced practice nurse during their stay, they are 28% likely to be re-hospitalized and 14% likely to die.  Both numbers can be cut in half with a doctor’s visit.

For nursing homes with in-house medical care, it’s easier to ensure patients get the attention they need.  In one study, adding an APRN to nursing home staff led to 48% fewer hospitalizations and 40% lower costs.  If APRNs worked in every nursing home in the US, Medicare costs would fall by $2.8 billion a year.

Of course, not every facility can afford to bring new professionals onto their staff.  The nursing homes least likely to have an APRN already are smaller, rural facilities, places that struggle to attract new residents in most circumstances.  Lucky for them, telemedicine has the potential of improving the quality of care these homes can offer.  83% of health issues can be treated by a telemedicine physician working with on-site nursing staff.  This means nursing homes can reduce their need for hospital readmissions by as much as 70%.

Another way in which technology can improve nursing home care is the introduction of automated vital monitors.  Where manual checking can take 4 minutes, automated monitors cut the process down to under 1 minute.  These monitors allow readings to be more consistent over time, and they can notify staff when readings outside prescribed parameters are detected.  Wireless monitors ensure that nurses have more time to focus on care and patients rather than routine and paperwork.  Improve nursing home care with technology’s help.

 

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